State Fire Marshal urges vigilance following spike in fire-related deaths

Because the state is currently experiencing a recent surge in fire-related deaths, several due to the arrival of markedly lower temperatures, the State Fire Marshal’s Office wishes to encourage citizens to remain vigilant when using space heaters and other heating sources while maintaining working smoke alarms in their homes.

Since December State Fire Marshal investigators have responded to over six (6) residential structure fires that resulted in over ten (10) deaths, six of which have occurred in East Baton Rouge Parish since January 1st.

Investigators believe that four (4) of the recent deaths may have been attributed to the use of space heaters.

When using any type of heating source, whether it is a space heater or fireplace, homeowners should incorporate a “three-foot rule,” where there should be a space of at least three feet between a heating source and any combustibles such as furniture and décor. Ovens or open flame sources, such as candles, should never be used to heat homes.

“With colder weather here, we should all be careful when using portable and stationary heating sources,” saidState Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, Jr. Browning added, “I also want to encourage everyone to makecertain to have working smoke alarms in their homes.”