FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 6, 2014

New Jersey Division Of Fire Safety And New Jersey Fire Protection And Prevention Association Announce 2014-2015 Scholastic Fire Safety Poster Contest

Contest Kicks off National Fire Prevention Week

TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety (NJDFS) and the New Jersey Fire Prevention and Protection Association (NJFPPA) today announced the statewide kickoff of the annual New Jersey Division of Fire Safety NJFPPA Scholastic Poster Contest. The annual contest, officially sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), comes during National Fire Prevention Week (FPW), which runs from October 5th through October 11th. This year’s theme is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!" which will carry over as the theme for the poster contest. 

"We are pleased to join with our partners at NJFPPA during National Fire Prevention Week again for this year’s contest," said William Kramer, Jr., Acting NJDFS Director and State Fire Marshal. "Our student artists have shown themselves quite capable of assisting us in conveying an important fire safety message, and especially this year with a focus on working smoke alarms."

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. While research shows that most U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The important emphasis on testing smoke and CO alarms is the reminder that while a device may be present in the home, it needs to be tested regularly to make sure it’s operational.

"A non-working smoke alarm is especially hazardous, since the assumption that it will protect you and your family may prove a fatal one if it does not warn of the presence of smoke in time for you and your family to evacuate," added Kramer.

In addition to monthly testing, smoke alarms should be installed and maintained as follows: 

  • There should be at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home (including the basement), outside all sleeping areas and in every bedroom.

  • For smoke alarms that include a ten-year non-replaceable battery, replace the entire smoke alarm if it begins to "chirp," indicating that the battery is running low. For smoke alarms that use regular batteries, replacing the batteries once a year is recommended, or before then if the battery begins to chirp.

  • All smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years or sooner if they don’t respond properly when tested.

  • For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that when one alarm sounds, they all do.

Kramer notes that the annual poster contest resonates throughout the year since the event is the source of the 2015 NJDFS-NJFPPA Fire Safety Calendar, in which both division winners and honorable mention contestant posters are featured monthly, along with key dates of interest including National Fire Prevention Week.

In conjunction with the kickoff, NJDFS also distributes free smoke and CO alarms to the elderly and needy in cooperation with ABC 7 Operation Save a Life. Over the past 15 years, the program has seen the delivery of these units via local fire departments in north Jersey (a similar program is operated by ABC 6 in Philadelphia for south Jersey) of nearly 120,000 Kidde Smoke Alarms. This year alone the giveaway approached 6,000 smoke alarms.

NJDFS-NJFPPA Scholastic Poster Contest Announcement and Entry information can be obtained at the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety website:

NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website ( offers a wealth of smoke alarm information and resources for parents and teachers, and for fire departments working to implement the campaign in their communities. In addition, NFPA’s Sparky the Fire Dog® website ( features award-winning apps and games for kids that reinforce the campaign’s fire safety messages.  

NFPA and all its 2014 FPW partners – LEGOLAND® Parks, Domino’s® Pizza, CVS Pharmacy and The Home Depot – are working together to promote the importance of monthly testing and related smoke alarm information through a wide range of engaging, family-focused events and initiatives during and leading up to the campaign. About Fire Prevention Week

NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and upcoming events, visit

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

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.