Funding for this Fire Prevention Initiative was provided through a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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2007 Successful Year; 2008 Begins with Tragedy

Fire Team Tennessee
In 2007, media outlets in Tennessee reported 74 fire-related fatalities.  On the surface, this appears to be an improvement from the 83 deaths that were reported in 2006.  Unfortunately, we won't know the actual numbers for some time now.  Even as 2007 draws to a close, efforts continue to finalize an accurate fire death number from 2006.  Something is wrong with the process...

Perhaps the lower number of media-reported fatalities is the actual result of fewer fire deaths.  That would be the ultimate goal, but the accuracy of tracking real-time information this way has shown to be flawed in years past.  For example, 2006 media reports from Memphis reveal 14 fire deaths, yet one media report indicated that the official number stood at 25.  Another example can be found from 2007 in Nashville, as the media-reported total stands at 7, another story counted 8 for the year.

Until an "official" number from 2007 is labeled as such, we'll hope that prevention efforts in the state have paid off, and we've actually seen a reduction in Tennessee's fire deaths.  This progress will hopefully serve as motivation to continue these efforts, as 74 is still an unacceptable number of fire deaths in today's society.  The technology is there to prevent these tragedies.

While we wait for those official numbers, we can look back on other success stories from 2007:

- Fire-Safe Cigarettes make their way into the Volunteer State
- More than eighty of you decided to attend the FTUSA delivery in Nashville
- Piperton passes residential sprinkler legislation, and Fayette County follows suit
- FTUSA / NFSA launch advocacy group
- Numerous other cities and counties continue to explore fire prevention options

As 2008 begins, there were three tragic reminders, in the first few hours of this new year, why we must continue to push for more effective fire protection and prevention.  The loss of a young woman in Knoxville and two small children in Memphis offer sobering proof that we've not yet done enough to educate everyone on the danger of fire.

Here's hoping you a motivated, driven year in 2008.  Continue to share your stories with us, so that we can share with everyone else, and stay safe.

-FTT Staff

















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