ST. PAUL, Minn. — Despite four fire fatalities already this month in Minnesota, including one this week in Minneapolis, officials are encouraged by the continued downward trend in fire deaths over the past 30 years. The number of people killed in fires last year is down nearly 7 percent from 2013, according to preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD)
There were 41 fire fatalities in 2014 in Minnesota compared to 44 in 2013 and 50 in 2012. The state’s all-time low fire-death figure was 35 in 2009; the high was 134 in 1976.
“We are encouraged by the trend but these numbers are still too high,” State Fire Marshal Bruce West said. “Most fire deaths can be prevented by following some simple tips.”
Fire safety and prevention tips
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Test them monthly and replace the batteries twice a year.
- Use flameless candles instead of real ones.
- Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended.
- Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from any heat source. Heat sources include:
- Space heaters and fireplaces
Figures are preliminary because fatality reports from Minnesota burn centers and hospitals are not yet final and fire departments are still sending data to the SFMD to be compiled.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Department of Public Safety comprises 11 divisions where 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 is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the State Fire Marshal Division
The mission of the State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) 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 SFMD from fire departments helps determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety.