Fire deaths summon need for Fire Prevention Awareness

The State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci wants to remind all Marylanders of the importance and value of fire prevention.  Nine fire deaths have been recorded during the first 30 days of the New Year.  Six of these deaths involved victims under the age of 18.  Two victims were over the age of 50 and […]

Fire Marshal promotes statewide smoke alarm installation program

Once again the Office of the State Fire Marshal is partnering with the Maryland State Firemen’s Association and Maryland Fire Chief’s Association to have all fire and rescue departments promote the testing and installation of working smoke alarms in the State.

May 16-17, 2015 has been scheduled as the Statewide Community Risk Reduction weekend with participation from many fire departments across the state. This program has been designed as a through canvassing effort to provide fire safety education and 10 year long-life battery operated smoke alarms for the communities we so proudly serve.

Working smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 70% of fire deaths result from fires in homes with non-working smoke alarms or no smoke alarms at all.

Fire Marshal reports on fire deaths

PIKESVILLE – Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci has announced a preliminary report revealing 64 Marylanders died in 55 fatal fires during 2014. Those fire deaths represent a 7% decrease as compared to the 69 fire deaths occurring in 59 fatal fires in 2013.

That includes one death in Somerset County when 64 year old Edward Ritter died from injuries he received during an early morning fire on May 21, 2014 in the 11000 Block of Warwick Lane in Princess Anne.

In 2014, as in other years, most fire deaths occurred in residential structures (57). Of these fifty-seven fire deaths, fifty occurred in 1- and 2- family dwellings, four fire deaths occurred in apartments and three victims lives were claimed in mobile home fires.

Residential fires accounted for 89% of all fire deaths in Maryland during 2014. Sixteen fatal residential structure fires occurred where smoke alarms were known to have functioned at the time of the incident; however 18 lives were still lost. As in previous years, no lives have been lost in homes protected with residential fire sprinklers.

Fifty-three percent of the victims in residential fatal fires (34), involved adults age 60 and older. This is a 7% increase when compared to 2013. Twelve of these fatalities occurred in homes with either non-working smoke alarms or no smoke alarms installed. More emphasis by family members of senior adults should be placed on fire and life safety to help protect their elders from serious injury or death as a result of uncontrolled fire.