Gonzales Fire and Rescue was recently presented a Life Safety Achievement Award for fire prevention accomplishments in 2013 by the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation in partnership with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.

The award was announced by State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, president of the NASFM Foundation.

“The heroic efforts of our local fire service aren’t limited to rushing into burning buildings to save families. They also present educational information to local schools and other community groups to make sure people know how to respond to fires and how to prevent them in the first place,” said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of Special Investigations for 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.”

Since 1994, the Life Safety Achievement Award honored local fire prevention efforts that have contributed to reducing the number of lives lost in residential fires, a news release said.

Gonzales Fire/Rescue is one of 142 US fire departments to receive the award this year for recording zero fire deaths in 2013 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, the release said.

Although residential fires in the U.S. account for only 20 percent of all fires, they result in 80 percent of all fire deaths.

“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.”