Fire Commissioner Nicholas
2004 Third Quarter Civilian Fire Fatality Statistics
Down Nearly 35% Compared To 2003 Figures
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced that
third quarter civilian fire fatality statistics for 2004 show
a decrease of nearly 35% compared to 2003. From January through
September 2004 there were 58 fire fatalities compared to 88
during the same period in 2003. In addition, this figure represents
a 25% decrease in the average number of fire fatalities for
the same period over the last 5 years.
In September 2004, the city recorded one fire fatality—the
lowest recorded number of fatalities for the month of September
in 35 years. Today, the city’s fire fatality rate continues
to be at its lowest levels in more than 75 years.
“While our latest statistics continue to show a downward
trend in civilian fire fatalities, we must remember that one
life lost to fire is one too many,” said Fire Commissioner
Nicholas Scoppetta. “Most fires are preventable and
by being vigilant, you can reduce your risk of injury or death
by learning how to protect yourself and your family from the
ravages of fire.”
During the year, community outreach efforts by the Department’s
Fire Prevention Unit and the Fire Safety Education Fund have
continued to be effective tools in educating the public about
the dangers of fire. Most recently in September, the FDNY
Fire Zone received a $676,000 Department of Homeland Security
grant to take its fire safety and prevention message to high-fire
risk neighborhoods throughout the city’s five boroughs.
Nationally, October is Fire Prevention Month. Every year
at this time the Fire Department reminds everyone of the dangers
of fire and urges all New Yorkers to be aware of fire hazards
at home and at work and practice fire prevention and safety.
It is particularly important during the upcoming winter months
when, traditionally, the city sees an increase in the amount
of residential fires and fire-related injuries and fatalities.
New Yorkers can reduce their risk of fire and fire related
injuries by taking a few simple steps:
- Make sure you have a working smoke detector. At least
one smoke detector should be placed on each level of your
home and it is highly recommended that additional detectors
be placed in the sleeping areas and kitchen.
- Never remove the batteries from your smoke detectors
without replacing them with fresh new batteries. Test your
smoke detectors often. Remember a smoke detector can save
your life—but only if it is working.
- Smoking continues to be the #1 cause of fire fatalities
in NYC. Of the 58 fire fatalities this year, 31% were directly
attributed to careless smoking. If you must smoke, always
ensure that cigarettes are completely extinguished before
you discard them.
- If you use candles, make sure to create a 1-foot circle
of safety around them and always ensure that they are completely
out before leaving your home. Never leave a small child
or pet alone with a lit candle.
- Do not overload outlets and never run extension cords
under carpeting or furniture.
- Create a home fire escape plan with your family. Practice
it! Know how to get out alive.
- For more information on fire safety visit the FDNY Fire
Zone—the Fire Department’s state-of-the-art
educational center in Rockefeller Center or online at www.fdnyfirezone.org.
Third Quarter Data 2000-2004
3rd Quarter Fire Fatality Totals
(January through September)
Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / David
Billig (FDNY) (718) 999-2056