The Baltimore Fire Department has released statistics which indicated a significant drop in fire deaths in 2008 compared with numbers in 2007.
Between the months of January 1 thru June 30, 2007 the City of Baltimore suffered 20 fire deaths. Later that year 14 more lives were claimed between the months of July and December 2007. During the first half of 2008 January thru June 11 individuals perished in home fires and another eight lives were claimed between July and December of 2008. This data reflects a steady decline in fire deaths over the past two years.
Kevin Cartwright, Director of Communications, in a press release noted, statistics from the department's Office of the Fire Marshal indicated that fewer lives were lost in the past two years as a result of home fires reflecting a 44% reduction in fire deaths throughout the City. "We're glad to see the public take a more pro-active role as it relates to fire safety in their homes however we still have quite a ways to go. Our ultimate goal is to get to zero (0) fire deaths in the City of Baltimore," stated Fire Chief Jim Clack.
The department suggests increasing the department's fire safety and prevention efforts reflect a greater awareness and interest by the general public as it relates to home fire safety. The department has contributed the decline in fire deaths to the tenacity and fervent efforts of firefighters who routinely go door to door in Baltimore Communities greeting their neighbors and inquiring as to whether or not they have a working smoke alarm, offering the assistance to creating a home evacuation plan, perform a home inspection to identify potential fire hazards, attend community meetings to raise the public's awareness about fire safety and prevention as well as our public education initiatives throughout Baltimore City Elementary schools.
The Inspector Detector Program, one of many has shown positive results as school aged children are educated by Fire Inspectors in a classroom setting, provide feedback from learned information and actually return home to educate their parents. The culmination of results is that more people are mindful of the fire safety and prevention measures that they currently have in place and take the necessary steps to foster positive fire safety behaviors in the home. Additionally, they have the Juvenile Fire Setters Program for students who may have engaged in fire play out of curiosity without actually realizing the dangers and demonstrate a greater need for intervention