In the past 3 years Michigan has been impacted by fires that take the life of multiple victims at the same time. Since 2017, 14% of fatal fires accounted for 28% of total fire deaths in Michigan. Community members most impacted by these fires include kids and young adults ages newborn to 19 years old. These victims accounted for nearly 49% of the total victims in multi fatal fires. In addition, data shows that 55% of victims were located in their bedrooms when the death occurred and 29% of the victims were located in the living room or dining room attempting to escape.
The number one known cause of fatal fires involving multiple victims includes smoking which accounted for 29% of the fires while the second known cause was electrical failures accounting for 18% of the fires. While it is difficult to determine the exact cause of many fires, it is much easier to determine where the fire occurred in the home. The fatal fire data shows that 40% of the fires occurred in living rooms, 24% of fires occurred in the kitchen and 16% of the fires occurred in bedrooms. Lastly, the most significant concern with multiple victim fatal fires is that only 45% of the fires were reported as having working smoke alarms.
While conducting home safety surveys, MI Prevention found that over half of residents did not sleep with their doors closed at night and over 85% of homes did not have the appropriate number of working smoke alarms. The home safety surveys only accounted for 6,345 homes throughout our state however it provides a sample of many homes that are in need of smoke alarms and residents in need of education.