FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 4, 2013

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION DISTRIBUTES THOUSANDS OF FREE SMOKE ALARMS IN NEW JERSEY COMMUNITIES

Local Firefighters Deliver Approximately 3,444 Smoke Alarms to Their Communities



TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III and Bill Kramer, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, today announced that the distribution of free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, underwritten by WABC-7 television and Kidde Corporation, was completed in all counties within the WABC Channel 7 viewing area. As part of the Operation 7: Save a Life Campaign, now in its 15th year, free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are distributed  in communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy, as well as to senior citizens, low-income residents, and households with children in North Jersey and much of Central Jersey. The Division has distributed approximately 121,650 free smoke alarms to New Jersey households since joining the annual campaign.

“I thank WABC for their partnership in ensuring these detectors are put into homes where they are needed,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. “Vulnerable populations in New Jersey will benefit from these smoke alarms, which will protect individuals and families from the dangers of fire. Equipping homes with these devices can mean the difference between safety and tragedy.”

Units were distributed in Hunterdon, Union, Somerset, Ocean and Monmouth, Warren, Sussex and Mercer counties.

“We are gratified by our long-term participation in Operation 7: Save a Life,” said William Kramer, Jr., Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety. “It is clear that placing these devices in the homes of our most vulnerable residents puts one more advantage in our favor in the fight against fire fatalities in our State.”

For this year’s program, 2,400 smoke alarms, including special 10-year lithium battery smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, were included in this this giveaway to city firefighters to in-turn distribute within their respective communities. Kidde Fire Safety (Kidde) is the leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, including the 10-year sealed lithium battery operated smoke alarm.

"Alarms with sealed-in long-life batteries are always on, ready to provide warning in the event of a fire," said Neal Zipser, community affairs manager of Kidde.  "On average, you only have three minutes to escape a fire, so these alarms offer families the chance to escape quickly and safely. By being able to escape, the risks firefighters face will also be reduced as they will work on controlling the fire rather than extracting residents."

It is anticipated that smoke alarms with long-life batteries will have a significant impact on reducing the number of residential fire fatalities, which stands at approximately 2,600 people annually.

Currently, two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in residences with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm, primarily due to dead or missing batteries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Smoke alarms with sealed-in 10-year batteries are tamperproof and eliminate the need to replace the battery, something many homeowners fail to do.

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.

More information on the Division of Fire Safety can be found online at http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dfs/.