Echo Park house fire on Lake Shore Avenue

Los Angeles set a record in 2019 for the lowest number of structure fire fatalities, the city Fire Department announced today.

There were eight civilian deaths in Los Angeles from accidental structure fires in 2019, which is less than half the number of fire fatalities that occurred in 2018, according to Peter Sanders of the LAFD.

While the city broke a record for lowest number of fire deaths, the LAFD responded to 499,167 incidents in 2019, a 1.62% increase from the previous year and the highest number on record. Of those incidents, 4,109 were structure fires, Sanders said.

The number of structure fire fatalities has been steadily declining since 2014, when there was a total of 24 structure fire deaths. On average over the last five years, the city had about 14 fire fatalities per year, according to Sanders.

Since 2014, the LAFD has increased its efforts to educate Los Angeles residents about the importance of smoke alarms through a campaign called Smoke Alarm Field Education. The SAFE program is activated in neighborhoods where residential fires occur and cause serious civilian injuries or fatalities.

Firefighters and members of MySafe:LA canvass the affected neighborhood and provide fire safety information, check existing smoke alarms and give out new smoke alarms and batteries to those who need them, according to Sanders.

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