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Fire Fatalities Down In 2013, Safety Encouraged For Holiday Cooking

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials said Tuesday fire deaths are down so far this year compared to 2012 and safety is being encouraged around homes as we get ready to cook holiday dinners.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said there have been 30 fire-related deaths so far this year. That’s down from 44 at this time last year. Minnesota’s all-time low in fire-related deaths was 35 back in 2009, and the highest was 134 in 1976.

State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl is encouraging Minnesotans to be extra cautious as we are now entering the holiday season. It’s a time that’s especially dangerous for house fires that start in the kitchen while we prepare holiday meals.

DPS officials said there were three fire-related deaths over Thanksgiving weekend last year, which accounted for half the fire deaths in November. There were also three fire-related deaths over Christmas, and four others suffered injuries.

Safety officials have provided some reminders to avoid fires as we get ready for the holidays. They include keeping an eye on your food cooking on the stovetop, keeping a lid on what you’re cooking, keeping flammables away from your stove and making sure your cooking surface is clean and free of grease.

One of the most important tips is to make sure your home has working smoke detectors.

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