SPARTANBURG, S.C. — South Carolina has recorded 77 fire-related deaths so far this year, matching the state’s total for the entirety of 2016.

The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reports the state fire marshal’s office says the statewide yearly average over the past 30 years has been about 75 fire deaths.

The majority of fatal fires in the state this year had undetermined causes, but nine have resulted from smoking and eight from cooking.

Spartanburg County Fire Marshal Bill Hall identifies people not having working smoke detectors as a big trend.

As state officials worry the number will continue to rise, the fire marshal’s office is developing a fire safety program to educate the public. Meanwhile, a new program, Fire Safe South Carolina, offers local fire departments state help in reducing fatalities and identifying trends.

Information from: Herald-Journal,

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