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Home fire deaths increase by 18% in 2023



Indianapolis, Indiana – In 2023, there will be 18% more house fire deaths, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

House fires claimed 84 lives in Indiana in 2023, a sharp rise from the 71 that occurred in 2022.

“We get reports of fire fatalities every week in the state of Indiana and most of these fatalities can be prevented,” said Steve Jones, the Indiana State Fire Marshal.

Jones cautions against utilizing space heaters with other types of heating sources, including an oven or stove. There shouldn’t be anything within three feet of them.

“Every one of the fire fatalities we have with space heaters, we find that that’s not being followed,” Jones said. “Or else they’re not plugging them directly into an electrical receptacle. They’re using extension cords or power strips.”

When not in use, space heaters and heated blankets should always be turned off, and they should never be left unattended.

Stoves and fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected annually.

“That creosol builds up over time and it catches fire, and now you have a fire in the wall,” said Jones.

Jones says having a smoke detector with functioning batteries is one of the most crucial preventive measures and advises all families to have a fire escape plan.

“If they don’t have the money to get one, they can get with their local fire department or the Red Cross and we will get them a free smoke detector,” said Jones.

Elderly people and children are particularly vulnerable to dying in home fires. In the event of a home fire, everyone should make sure they are ready.



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