Michigan fire deaths increased 144% in first month of 2022 | News, Sports, Jobs

A significant increase in fire-related deaths has been recorded in Michigan in the first month of 2022. According to the Bureau of Fire Services, fire-related deaths in Michigan have increased by 144% over the same 34 days in 2021. The Bureau recorded 18 fires resulting in 22 deaths. These fire deaths were all accidental and preventable.

Last year, 67% of Michigan’s 107 fire deaths were among adults over 40. Many of these residential fires happened in the evening, with the majority starting in the living room (33%) or in a bedroom (21%). The top three causes of fatal fires in 2021 were: smoking (39%); heating appliances such as space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces (23%); and cooking (11%).

“It’s important to talk about fire safety with our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors and help them prepare their homes to be safer against fires. » said Michigan Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. You can start by making sure they have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their home. Help develop a fire escape plan that takes into account any mobility issues they may have and practice the plan with them. If they smoke or heaters are used, be sure to discuss fire safety tips and that fire safety practices are used. These basic, common sense steps will increase their ability to escape and survive a fire.

“If I could send one message to everyone in Michigan, it would be to ‘get out and stay out’ as soon as possible if a fire breaks out in your home.” said Sehlmeyer.

The following talking points can also facilitate a fire safety discussion with your parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours.

Did you know:

– Working smoke alarms can reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by up to 60%.

– Last year, an average of 1,700 home fires involved space heaters, resulting in 80 deaths and 160 injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They are mainly caused when a heater, usually electric, is placed too close to curtains, bedding or upholstered furniture that has caught fire.

– The leading cause of fatal fires in Michigan is smoking.

Michigan residents are encouraged to follow these simple tips from the National Fire Protection Association to increase their ability to survive or prevent a fire:

Home Safety Tips:

– Clear snow from all exterior doors so you can get out quickly in an emergency.

– Make sure your home has multiple smoke alarms, including smoke alarms in each bedroom and one on each level of your home. Many newer smoke alarms can interconnect smoke alarms so that when one sounds, all smoke alarms sound.

– Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on each level of your home to alert you to high levels of CO.

– For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, consider installing smoke alarms that use a flashing light or bed vibrating device to alert them to a fire emergency.

– Ensure that each smoke alarm is tested monthly and replace 9-volt batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.

– Never remove or disable smoke alarms.

– Close your bedroom doors when you sleep to insulate yourself from fire, heat and toxic smoke.

– Make sure children and elderly people in your home are familiar with the sound of the smoke alarm.

– Have a fire escape plan that the whole family has practiced that includes two exits from each room and a meeting place outside the house.

– Make sure you practice and can open and exit windows and doors.

– Dial 9-1-1 AFTER leaving your home if your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms go off.

– Never use the stove or oven as a source of heat for your home. The oven is not only a potential fire hazard, but it can also become a source of high levels of carbon monoxide.

Smoking safety tips:

– Smoking outside. Many things in your home can catch fire if they touch something hot like a cigarette or ashes. It is always safer to smoke outside.

– Never smoke in bed. Mattresses and bedding can easily catch fire. Don’t smoke in bed because you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette.

– Put out the cigarettes completely. Do this every time. Stay away from lit cigarettes and other smoking items.

– Put water on ashes and cigarette butts to make sure they are extinguished before throwing them away.

– Extinguish cigarettes in an ashtray or bucket with sand.

– Use ashtrays with wide bottoms so that they do not tip over and cause a fire.

– Do not smoke after taking medication that makes you tired. You may not be able to prevent or escape a fire if you are not vigilant.

– Never smoke near medical oxygen. Medical oxygen can explode if a flame or spark is nearby. Even if the oxygen is cut off, it can still catch fire.

Heater Safety:

– Place the heater on a hard, flat and non-flammable surface. These devices are intended to be placed on the floor and not on a table.

– The heaters must be plugged directly into an electrical outlet.

– Do not plug another electrical appliance or extension cord into the same outlet as a heater – this may cause overheating.

– Never use an extension cord with a space heater.

– Make sure your heater has an automatic shut-off switch.

– Keep children and pets three feet away from heaters.

– Turn off heaters when you leave a room or go to bed.

– Keep furniture, blankets and other household items at least three feet away from a heater.

Heating Safety Methods:

– Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions or have a wood stove installed by a professional. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to prevent carbon monoxide buildup inside the home.

– Clean chimneys do not catch fire. Make sure a professional chimney sweep inspects your solid fuel venting system every year and sweeps and repairs it whenever necessary.

– Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from coming out.

– Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving your home.

Put the ashes in a metal container with a lid, outdoors, at least 3 feet from your home.

– If you smell natural gas or propane near your gas furnace or water heater, do not try to light the appliance. Leave the house immediately, then dial 9-1-1 and ask the fire department and/or gas company to respond to your home.

– If using a heater that requires kerosene or propane, always use the correct fuel specified by the manufacturer and take the heater outside the home to refuel or change tanks.

– Keep household furniture, blankets and other objects at least three feet away from fireplaces and wood stoves.

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