The Elkin Fire Department was recently presented with a Life Safety Achievement Award for its fire prevention accomplishments in 2015 by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) Fire Research and Education Foundation in partnership with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. The award was announced by H. Butch Browning, president of the NASFM Fire Research and Education Foundation.
“When we hear the fire truck coming down the street and see its lights, we know firefighters are responding to someone in trouble. What we don’t know is that these unsung heroes are doing a lot of things behind the scenes that save lives,” said David Miller, assistant vice president of Special Investigations at Grinnell Mutual. “The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention programs that have been proven to save lives year after year.”
Elkin Fire Capt. Theresa Knops shares Miller’s sentiments, “Elkin Fire Department is committed to community outreach and engagement. By having a visible presence in the community, our firefighters have been able to help Elkin residents protect themselves from loss of life and property caused by fires.”
Since 1994, the Life Safety Achievement Award has recognized local fire prevention efforts that have contributed to reducing the number of lives lost in residential fires. The Elkin Fire Department is one of 160 fire departments across the United States to receive the award this year for recording zero fire deaths in 2015 or reducing fire deaths by at least 10 percent during the year. In addition, award recipients documented active and effective fire prevention programs as well as a clear commitment to reducing the number of house fires in the community.
Although residential fires in the U.S. account for only 20 percent of all fires, they result in 80 percent of all fire deaths. The NASFM Fire Research and Education Foundation is committed to reducing that number.
“Experience tells us that fire prevention activity and public education can significantly reduce life and property loss from residential fires,” Browning said. “Prevention and education are very cost effective compared to the traditional approach of relying on fire suppression. The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention efforts and encourages them to continually improve upon those efforts.”
The NASFM Fire Research and Education Foundation is a public interest group whose mission is to reduce residential fire deaths and injuries. The Foundation advocates the use of residential fire sprinklers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and teaching people fire-safe behavior. The foundation assists fire departments with implementing residential sprinkler/smoke alarm programs on a local basis. The foundation’s partners include the United States Fire Administration, the National Association of State Fire Marshals and private industry/associations with an interest in and commitment to residential fire safety.
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, in business since 1909, provides reinsurance for farm mutual insurance companies and property and casualty insurance products through more than 1,600 independent agents in 12 Midwestern states. Grinnell Mutual is the 123rd largest property-casualty insurance company in the United States and the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America.