Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
Counsel to Office of Communications
South Carolina fire deaths in 2010 hit an all-time low, with 63 fire-related fatalities reported.
"This is the lowest number ever documented by our office,” State Fire Marshal John Reich said. "In 2007, 60 civilian fire fatalities were reported, but the total increased to 71 with the death of 11 fire service members who perished in fires that year.”
Reich attributes the decrease in fatalities to: widespread fire safety education on how to prevent and survive fires; increased installation and maintenance of smoke alarms in conjunction with developing and practicing home escape plans; wider use of residential sprinkler systems; and the development of more fire safe home products such as less fire-prone cigarettes, more child resistant lighters and the wider use of upholstered furniture and mattresses that are more resistant to cigarette ignitions.
"While it is great to see the number of fire deaths decreasing in our state, we know our work is never done,” Reich said. "One fire death is one too many. Our office will continue working with fire departments across this state to reduce fire fatalities through comprehensive public education, code enforcement and embracing new technology and engineering principles.”
For fire fatality statistics, visit the South Carolina State Fire Marshal's website at: