Fire safety urged during National Fire Prevention Week

Do you have a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and two escape routes?

“No one expects to have a fire, but being prepared can mean the difference between life and death,” says Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver.

Preventing Bayonne blazes

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Weaver said residents should have working smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors, and and test them.

Residents should plan two escape routes and keep stairways clear. They should designate a meeting place nearby for family members in case of emergency.

Residents should exercise the plan.

Other tips include never use extension cords with space heaters, never overload outlets or power strips, and obtain renters’ or homeowners’ insurance.

In the wake of tragedy

The importance of fire safety was driven home when four died in an Elizabeth fire, including three children.

Bayonne OEM offered its condolences on social media: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life due to this fire in our neighboring city. Please take some time to discuss fire safety with your family and practice your escape plan.”

According to OEM, people never think fires will break out in their homes, but fires happen every day, and a few minutes of preparation can mean the difference between life and death.

COVID-19 policies

New policies have been implemented by the Bayonne Fire Department as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weaver said in a video update in May.

Weaver said the BFD  had to set up and maintain a supply chain of medical materials and PPE that has helped firefighters properly respond to the influx of COVID-19 EMS calls. A cleaning program has been established to sanitize fire department facilities and some city-owned buildings.

Weaver cautioned residents to observe fire safety guidelines to prevent problems from piling up during the pandemic. Displaced residents’ stress would be compounded during these uncertain times, according to Weaver.

Bayonne firefighters are ready for the challenge, according to Weaver. He reiterated that, having survived 9/11, the Great Recession, and SuperStorm Sandy, firefighters rose to these challenges and faced them head on as they will continue to do with COVID-19.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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