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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

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Smoking remains leading cause of Minnesota fire deaths

Packs of seized drugs

Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in Minnesota, killing an average of nine people each year.

You can prevent fatal fires caused by careless smoking:
• If you smoke, take it outside.
• Properly dispose of cigarettes outside in a sturdy container filled with sand or water.
• Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished.
• Never smoke while using medical oxygen or in a home where medical oxygen is being used.
• And remember: most smoking-related fire deaths happen to people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

To Prevent Fire Deaths, We Must Study Them

A house window damaged by fire and smoke

The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on the past year and plan for the new one – hopefully to think about what we can improve upon, then make a plan to do just that in the coming year. For the State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD), unfortunately, this means thinking about deaths, specifically fire deaths.

Preliminary numbers show that 42 people died in fires in 2019. That’s up 14 percent over 2018, when there were 37 fire deaths.

Learn what the SFMD is doing to bring that number back down – and how you can help – in this blog.

Is there a 'silent killer' in your home?

​Could your stove, furnace or fireplace be putting you at risk?

It could be if it’s producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months because people may use unsafe heat sources or don't follow fire safety rules.

Make sure your CO alarms are working properly and test them once a month. Clear snow build-up from dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace vents. And never use grills inside.

Featured Video

Video Description: Take it from Minnesota Twins pitcher Taylor Rogers, smoke alarms save lives – but only if they work.