Baltimore Records Historic Reduction in Fire Deaths

| January 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

Baltimore City Release:

Mayor Rawlings-Blake And Fire Chief Clack Announce Historic Reductions In Fire Deaths

BALTIMORE, MD. (January 2, 2013) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) Chief James Clack announced another significant reduction in fire deaths in the city. In 2012, twelve individuals were lost in fires, down from 17 fire deaths in 2011. The 2012 numbers represent the fewest annual fire deaths on record in Baltimore.

“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the men and women of the fire department, this year, we have again reduced the number of residents who perished in fires,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “A life lost to a fatal fire is a terrible tragedy. In the coming year, we are committed to increasing fire safety and working toward eliminating fire deaths entirely.”

Despite significant budget deficits, the Rawlings-Blake administration has restored fire department funding to reduce daily rotating closures of fire companies—from five daily rotating closures in 2009, to three daily rotating closures in 2011, to two permanent company disbandments in 2012—all while preventing firefighter and EMT layoffs. Since 2009, fire deaths have declined by more than half. (See attached charts)

Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Fire Chief Clack also created a new initiative to distribute and install free smoke alarms with 10-year batteries to city residents who request them through the City’s 311 Call Center. BCFD members have distributed and installed more than 5,200 free smoke alarms over the last year—averaging 14 individual alarms per day.

“Reaching this historic low is no small feat and is a true testament that smoke alarms do work and will help save lives,” said Chief Clack. “With the support of Mayor Rawlings-Blake, we have been able to make significant strides in reaching our goal of zero fire deaths.”

Any resident can call 311 to request a smoke alarm for their home. When 311 Call Center agents receive a request, a Smoke Alarm Installation Request form is filled out and immediately forwarded to the Fire Communications Bureau. At that time, a fire suppression company will be dispatched to the resident’s home to install a tamper-resistant smoke alarm. The fire alarms alarms are equipped a ten-year lithium battery.

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