DCA Division of Fire Safety Releases "Fire in New Jersey 2008" Publication
Report Provides Statistical Analysis of Fire and Emergency Incidents in New Jersey

TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Division of Fire Safety today issued "Fire in New Jersey 2008," an annual publication that provides fire and emergency incident data for 2008. The report can be accessed at http://www.state.nj.us/dca/dfs/fire_in_nj08.pdf on the DCA website.

"This publication is full of information that fire officials and households around the state can use to help make their communities and properties safer," said DCA Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman. "We commend the participating fire departments that gathered and submitted data about fire incidents. The report would not be possible without their help and hard work."

Citing the publication, State Fire Marshal and Division of Fire Safety Director Lawrence Petrillo reported that two firefighters died in the line of duty and 83 civilians lost their lives as a result of fire in 2008. Nearly 500 civilians and almost double that number of firefighters sustained injuries. More than 77 percent of the 83 civilian fatalities occurred in residential occupancies.

"In 2008, there were more than 10,000 fires reported in one or two-family dwellings.  Some of the most common causes of fire include ignition of clothing dryers, water heater units, power cords, and fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces," said Director Petrillo. "By far, however, household dryers and cooking were the most frequent causes of residential fires."

Regular maintenance and upkeep can reduce the incidence of dryer and cooking fires. Cleaning the lint filter in dryers and annually cleaning or changing gas dryers' exhaust duct can drastically reduce the risk of fire. Similarly, keeping ovens clean of grease and not leaving cooking unattended will significantly reduce the risk of fire in homes.

"Fire in New Jersey 2008" contains not only the facts about fire incidents in 2008, but vivid color photos of actual fire events and the firefighters who risk their lives to protect New Jersey's citizens and property.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing public education and firefighter training programs. For more information, log on to http://www.state.nj.us/dca/dfs/ on the DCA website.