During the time period of October 2015 through March 2016, fire deaths in Ohio decreased 27% from the previous heating season. These six months are identified as the winter heating months, and typically represent the largest percentage of fatal fires.
The State Fire Marshal’s Safe & Sound campaign aimed at reducing fire deaths, particularly those caused by alternative heat sources, was introduced at the start of the heating season. This initiative, combined with the mild winter, contributed to this decrease. However, the State Fire Marshal’s office knows there is still work to be done to bring fire deaths in the state to zero.
“Our job is never finished. We can always educate one more person or install one more smoke alarm,” State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers said. “That one time could save a life.”
Although the winter has passed, it is important for all Ohioans to stay vigilant when it comes to fire safety and prevention. The spring season is a great time to dust off your home fire escape plan and practice both your primary and secondary routes. You should also be testing your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they are in proper working condition.
“These messages are relevant all year long. Working smoke alarms and fire escape plans save lives,” Fire Prevention Chief B. Frank Conway said. “This is something all Ohioans can do to create a safer living environment.”
While the heating season has ended, the State Fire Marshal’s office will continue to put a large emphasis on fire safety and prevention. The Safe & Sound campaign will focus on seasonal messaging to educate Ohioans all year long.
Marshal Flowers would like to thank the partners of the Safe & Sound campaign for their efforts.
The Ohio Departments of Administrative Services, Aging, Agriculture, Public Safety, Development Services Agency and the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing all took an active role in Safe & Sound. The American Red Cross and Ohio’s fire service also played a major part in the initiative.