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State Fire Marshal


Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
Jen Longaecker  651-201-7570
October 10, 2013
Minnesota Tops the Nation in Fire Life Safety Awards
17 Departments Honored for Their Fire Prevention Efforts by The National Association of State Fire Marshals
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Seventeen Minnesota fire departments were recently honored nationally for their fire prevention accomplishments and protecting citizens from fire.  

More than 115 departments nationwide received Life Safety Achievement Awards from The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM). Minnesota had more award recipients than any other state. 

“We are very proud of the entire Minnesota fire service and its dedication to fire prevention,” State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl said. “These awards highlight the hard work that happens daily in every corner of the state to keep Minnesotans safe.”

To qualify for the award, fire departments must:
  • Have zero fire deaths in residential structures or a 10 percent reduction from the previous year.
  • Demonstrate commitment to preventing residential fires in their communities.
  • Have an active fire prevention program.
  • Prove that the department’s fire prevention efforts increased and made a positive impact. 

“While funding for fire suppression efforts will always be necessary, spending money and time preventing a fire or significantly reducing its impact is preferable to having to respond after a fire has occurred,” said Jim Narva, NASFM Foundation executive director. “Our award recipients recognize that and fight for more fire prevention resources every chance they get.”

Minnesota award recipients are:

  • Alexandria Fire Department
  • Brainerd Fire Department 
  • Canby Fire Department
  • Chaska Fire Department
  • Hastings Fire Department
  • Cloquet Area Fire District
  • Eden Prairie Fire Department
  • Farmington Fire Department
  • Hopkins Fire Department
  • Kensington Fire Department
  • Lake Henry Fire and Rescue
  • Maple Grove Fire-Rescue
  • Moorhead Fire Department
  • Roseville Fire Department
  • Spring Lake Fire Department
  • Waldorf Fire Department
  • White Bear Lake Fire Department

Award recipient activities included organizing educational programs, conducting home fire safety surveys and giving away smoke alarms.

This is Fire Prevention Week in Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) encourages Minnesotans to learn how to prevent fires in their home and keep their family safe. The focus this year is on preventing kitchen fires. Cooking continues to be the leading cause of Minnesota structure fires, accounting last year for 46 percent of blazes and $6.2 million in property damage.

Fifty people died last year in Minnesota fires; a fire was reported every 32 minutes in the state in 2012.

More information about the Life Safety Achievement Award is available from NASFM and kitchen safety tips are available from the SFMD.

About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the State Fire Marshal Division
The mission of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the State Fire Marshal Division from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state.

State Fire Marshal Division 2012 statistics:

  • 4,863 of a total 6,436 structure fires in Minnesota occurred in residential property.
  • 58 percent of fire deaths occurred where people generally feel safest – at home.
  • For each of the last five years, residential structure fires have occurred at the rate of one for every 1,061 Minnesotans. 


445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 |