Fire Deaths Climbing
America’s fire death rate is climbing by about 300 deaths a year, according to Philip S. Schaenman , associate administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Data Center. He said that there is an average of one death per hour in the country as a result of fire.
Estimates from the U.S. Fire Administration indicate that from 1975 to 1976 and again from 1976 to 1977, the number of national fire deaths grew by approximately 300 fatalities. “This is the first significant climb in the annual number of fire deaths in a decade,” Schaenman said. He added that if it had not been for the significant influx in home smoke detector installations, the rise in fire deaths could be even steeper.
On a state-by-state basis, Alabama logged the highest jump in one year, recording more than 100 additional fire deaths in 1976. Other states showing rises included California, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida and Indiana.
At the opposite end of the scale, Maryland and Massachusetts each had significantly lower death rates: over 40 fewer fire deaths in 1976 than in 1975.