Fire Deaths in Maryland Decreased in 2011
Maryland State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard has announced a preliminary report revealing 67 Marylanders died in 56 fatal fires during 2011. Those fire deaths represent a 6% decrease as compared to the 71 fire deaths occurring in 50 fatal fires in 2010. The number of fatal fires in 2011 represents a 12% increase as compared to 2010.
The majority of the victims in fatal fires (44), involved victims age 45 and older. As in years past, more victims in this age group succumb to the effects of fire than those less than 45 years of age. Seventy-nine percent of all fire deaths in Maryland in 2011 occurred in residential structures. Fifty-seven percent of those deaths occurred between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. when the highest numbers of Marylanders are most vulnerable – while they are sleeping. This is the time when most of us depend on life saving devices such as; working smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers to provide the extra time needed to escape the ingredients of fire.
Nine counties experienced no fire fatalities, these include: Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, St. Mary’s, Somerset and Talbot. Baltimore City reported 17 fire deaths in 2011 which is lower than the 20 fire deaths reported in 2010 and Anne Arundel County reported 1 fire death in 2011, while 6 perished in 2010. Unfortunately, Prince Georges County reported 16 fire deaths in 2011 as compared to 7 fire deaths in 2010.
“Every Marylander needs to exercise personal responsibility to protect themselves and their families by ensuring they have working smoke alarms in their homes,” according to the State Fire Marshal. “If you are building a new home, please consider installing residential fire sprinklers. When used in combination; fire sprinklers, working smoke alarms and fire escape plans provide assistance in helping to protect citizens from the perils of an uncontrolled fire.”