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DPS: Fire Deaths Up Slightly In 2010

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Minneapolis Fire

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — October is officially Fire Prevention Month and Minnesota firefighters are already talking about the dangers of fires and how to prevent them.

According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) there were 39 fire deaths in 2010, up slightly from 2009 when there were 34 fire fatalities — the fewest ever recorded in one year.

Firefighters said most deaths happen in residential structures and more than one-third of those deaths happened where smoke alarms weren’t working or missing.

The DPS State Fire Marshal Division said cooking was the number-one problem, followed by heating and open flames.

The DPS said a new public education campaign will include bus advertisements, a special section on their website, and a social media campaign. They’ll also hold fire department open houses across the state.

“With all this information, we hope Minnesotans learn some simple ways in which they can prevent fires,” State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl said in a press release. “We’re encouraging everyone to use this month as a time to focus on fire safety and to share life-saving safety tips with friends and family.”

Fire Prevention Month is a tradition that started in 1922 in remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. It is the longest-running public health and safety observance.

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