The Ottawa Fire Department was recently honored by a national organization for the department’s efforts to keep the community safe.

The department was presented a Life Safety Achievement Award for its fire prevention accomplishments in 2016 by the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ Fire Research and Education Foundation, according to a news release. Ottawa was one of 160 fire departments across the United States to receive the award this year for recording zero fire deaths in 2016 or reducing fire deaths by at least 10 percent during the year, according to the release. 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 foundation said.

The foundation presents the award in partnership with Grinnell Mutual.

“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.”

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.

Although residential fires in the United States account for only 20 percent of all fires, they result in 80 percent of all fire deaths, according to the national foundation.