SFMO: January was third-deadliest month for fires in TN history - WSMV News 4

SFMO: January was third-deadliest month for fires in TN history

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The house fire was on Elnora Drive in Hendersonville. (WSMV) The house fire was on Elnora Drive in Hendersonville. (WSMV)

Twenty people died in fires in Tennessee last month, making January one of the deadliest months for fires since 2010 according to State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) officials.

Officials are also warning residents to focus on preventing more deadly fires during the high-risk winter months. 

"While fire safety efforts are important all year long, winter brings more fire-related tragedies in Tennessee than any other season – and this winter had an especially deadly start,” said State Fire Marshal and Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “With two more months of winter still ahead, we are urging Tennesseans to follow safety precautions in order to avoid common winter fire hazards and help prevent fire-related deaths.” 

Officials say January was the third-deadliest month in the state since 2010, with 20 fire fatalities. 

In Dec. 2016, there were 24 fatal fire deaths. In Jan. of 2010, there were 21. 

Historically, January leads all other months in residential fires, heating fires and fatal fires in Tenn., and almost half (46.8 percent) of all deadly blazes occur between November and February.

SFMO say a few preventative measures you can take, including: 

  • Keeping anything that can burn at least three free from heat sources, like fireplaces, furnaces, wood stoves and portable space heaters. 
  • Turning off space heaters when you go to bed or leave your home
  • Using the correct, manufacturer-recommended fuel for all heating sources
  • Checking to make sure electrical cords on heaters and other appliances are not frayed or damaged
  • Installing smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, and replacing them every 10 years
  • Devising a home fire-escape plan that incorporates two ways to exit every room in your home, if possible, and a designated meeting place outside the home

You can find more fire safety tips on tn.gov/fire.

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