Ohio has seen a downturn in fire-related deaths over the last few years, including in the Greater Dayton Area.
According to State Fire Marshal records, fire (including home, business, vehicle and other) deaths were as high at 175 in 2008, but fell the last four years to 148 in 2009, to 155 in 2010, 127 in 2011 and 106 last year.
In Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Preble and Warren counties, there were 19 fire-related deaths in 2007 and 20 in 2008, but in only one year since has the total reached double figures, 15, in 2011. Last year, eight deaths were recorded.
In Butler County, six deaths were recorded in 2007, but not more than three in any year since, and that happened only once, in 2012.
“While there is no single reason for the significant reduction, there are three main factors,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers. “Prevention, training and weather.
“Prevention is the best solution. Fire alarms save lives. We know that. Getting smoke alarms, working smoke alarms, in every home is our top priority. Local fire departments across Ohio have been spreading the message and going into homes to install alarms.”
Steve Milliken, chief of the Trotwood Fire Department, agrees, adding, “a lot of it has to do with fire education. We start very young teaching kids in school. We talk about prevention, early warning. We have public safety messages.
“A large part of it is having smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Some states have residential sprinkler systems. That hasn’t been adapted here yet, but those things help.”
In addition to fewer deaths, there have been fewer fires reported state-wide. The number of total fires has dropped each year since 52,049 were recorded in 2007. In 2011, there were 40,497, more than a 7,000-fire drop from 2010.
“The more people know about preventing fires and being prepared, the more we can bring down the number of fire deaths,” Flowers said.