Fire incidents down in MinnesotaA newly-published summary reports a downward trend in the number of residential fires in Minnesota.
A newly-published summary of fire statistics, “Fire in Minnesota 2010,” reports a three-percent drop in the number of residential fires last year and a 15 percent increase in fire-related deaths compared to 2009. As in previous years, cooking was the number one cause of residential fires and the majority of fire victims were 60 years of age or older.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division compiles the annual report based on numbers provided by Minnesota fire departments.
The 39 fire deaths in 2010 compare to Minnesota’s record low of 34 in 2009, but nonetheless reflect a continuing downward trend in Minnesota
and nationwide. More public awareness of fire safety, improvements in fire protection systems, and increased use of smoke detectors may be reasons for the trend. Still, as the report notes, in 36 percent of last year’s residential fire fatalities, smoke alarms were absent or non-operating.
A few highlights from the 2010 report:
they caused extensive damage.
The Two Harbors Fire Department had 35 calls in 2010 and 88 other runs for incidents like accidents. The dollar lost was $777,000. Silver Bay had 14 fire runs and 52 other runs with no dollar amount for losses. Beaver Bay
had one run each.
Of the state’s 789 fire departments,767 reported statistics in 2010 – a second straight year of reporting by 97 percent of fire departments.
That’s a high rate compared to many states, but the State Fire Marshal’s goal is 100 percent because a higher reporting rate results in more accurate statistics and allows better analysis, Rosendahl said.
“The goal of this report is to help us fight fire with facts. Prevention is the best way to manage fire, and when we know the specific causes and
locations, we can work on changing specific behaviors to stop fires before they start.”
Minnesota participates with other states in the National Fire Incident Reporting System, a function of the U.S. Fire Administration. Along with more effective fire safety education methods, fire code development and product safety regulations also result from collection and study of fire statistics.