BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY)– State Fire Marshal Chief “Butch” Browning has released the agency’s 2019 productivity statistics which show more fire investigation calls, completed inspections and new construction project reviews over the previous year.
In 2019, SFM deputies were requested to investigate almost 775 fires compared to 750 the year before.
Of those fires, just under 300 were classified as being intentionally set, which is on par with 2018’s figures.
The agency’s arrest rate remains in the 40% range for a third year, significantly above the national average.
Unfortunately, there were just as many lives lost this year to residential fires as the previous year, roughly 75, though the fatality count stayed low for much of the year until the last month.
Only about 20 of those cases involved structures with smoke alarms with half confirmed as working at the time of the fires.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office is doing its part to protect life and property from the hazards of fire and explosion, abate arson, and ensure safety in the constructed environment,” said Browning, “We look forward to continuing this good work into 2020 and hope the people of Louisiana pitch in with their own fire safety awareness and prevention efforts.”