Skip to main content

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Proclaims October as Fire Prevention Month in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed October as Fire Prevention Month in Michigan to raise awareness about simple but important ways to stay safe in the event of a home fire.

The proclamation coincides with the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week scheduled for October 8-14, 2023, with messaging aimed to educate the public about cooking safety.

“To keep themselves and their loved ones safe, every Michigander should know how to prevent and escape from a fire,” said Governor Whitmer. “Let’s work together to make our homes safer by taking some simple, proactive steps to prevent cooking fires. Also, everyone should know two ways out of every room in the house and regularly practice their home escape plan. This month, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure you know how to get out in the event of a fire. Let’s keep each other safe.”

Fatal fire statistics for 2023, Michigan show that as of September 15th, Michigan has experienced 78 fatalities resulting from 72 fires. This is a 4% decrease in year-to-date fire related deaths. Year 2022, 132 Michigan residents were killed in 113 residential fires.  Fire departments throughout the state responded to approximately 14,509 residential fires, and 2,923 of those fires were cooking fires according to data gathered through the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

MI Prevention’s data also indicates:

  • Smoking is the #1 cause of fatal fires for Michigan
  • Cooking is the #2 cause of fatal fires
  • 67% of fire deaths happen overnight (between 6pm and 6am)
  • 63% of fires started in the living room or bedroom
  • 72% of our 78 fatalities did not have working smoke alarms

“I urge Michigan residents to not fight the fire when it comes to cooking fires or any fire. Leave your home immediately, call 911 and live another day. Firefighters are trained to fight fire and their equipment allows them to tackle fires that produce toxic smoke,” said State Fire Marshal Sehlmeyer.

MI Prevention, in conjunction with the NFPA, offers these safety tips to help reduce the risk of a house fire. These precautions cut a family’s risk of dying in a residential fire in half.

  • Having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home
  • Have working carbon monoxide detectors on each level
  • Close bedroom doors when you are sleeping – closed doors are best defenses against these fast-moving fatal fires.
  • Assist older adults in your family by installing smoke alarms
  • Identifying and correcting any fire hazards in their home.

“If I could suggest one action item for all Michiganders in the month of October, I would encourage everyone to reach out to an older adult in your family or neighbor and make sure they have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” said Sehlmeyer.

Throughout October, MI Prevention is extending educational outreach efforts to Michigan fire departments and the public with a community outreach kit with daily fire safety tips. Sehlmeyer will be travelling to schools across Michigan as well to help students understand the importance of fire safety.