For Immediate Release
Posted: June 28, 2024


Amy McLaughlin, Public Information Officer
(603) 931-9083 |

Fatal Fires Are Tracking Ahead of the Past Two Years

Thirteen people have died in the first half of 2024

CONCORD, New Hampshire – The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's Office has released statistics comparing fire fatalities in the state for the year 2024 with the previous two years, revealing concerning trends.

As of today, there have been eleven unintentional fires resulting in 13 victims in New Hampshire. Comparatively, in 2023 there were 11 fires and 12 victims throughout the entire year. In 2022, there were 8 fires resulting in 9 fatalities. These statistics indicate that 2024 is on track to exceed the number of fires and has already exceeded the number of victims seen in each of the past two years, highlighting an alarming increase in fire incidents that have resulted in deaths.
"In 2024, we are seeing a disturbing rise in fatal fire incidents," said State Fire Marshal Sean P. Toomey. "Having working smoke alarms in your home is absolutely critical. They provide early detection and give you and your family precious moments to escape in the event of a fire."

Investigators have noted a concerning trend where nearly three quarters of the incidents did not have working smoke alarms or didn’t have an adequate number of working smoke alarms. This underscores the importance of regular maintenance and testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are operational.

In addition, the data shows a shift in the timing of fatal incidents. In 2024, nearly two thirds of the incidents occurred between 7:00am and 5:00pm. In contrast, a majority of fatal incidents in 2022 and 2023 took place in the evening and early hours of morning, when most people are asleep. These variances affirm that deadly fires may happen at any time. In addition, the data shows a shift in the timing of fatal incidents. In 2024, nearly half of the fatal fires occurred on a Thursday, whereas in the two prior years, about one third took place on a Thursday, with half occurring on either a Thursday or Friday. 


Comparison of Unintentional Fire Incidents and Fatalities: 2022-2024
Year Total FIres Total Fatalities
2024 to Date 11 13
2023 11 12
2022 8 9
Total 30 34


To enhance fire safety and reduce fatalities, the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office recommends the following:

  • Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. 
  • Components of the alarms will deteriorate over time and can only be expected to work effectively within 10 years of their date of manufacture. Replace smoke alarms that are older than 10 years.
  • Interconnected alarms are best. Wireless is an acceptable option.
  • Hard-wired smoke alarms should have battery back-up in case there is a power outage.
  •  Battery powered smoke alarms should be changed twice a year. A 10-year sealed battery is preferred.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are functioning properly.

This year’s annual Fire Prevention Week (FPW) theme was recently announced by the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA), as “Make Smoke Alarms Work for You,” and we are taking this opportunity to announce its importance in light of the uptick in fatal fires and the life-saving importance of having working smoke alarms. The campaign aims to educate the public about the importance of smoke alarms and encourage proactive measures to enhance fire safety. Although FPW is scheduled for October 6-12, 2024, the State’s fire service will be holding public safety events all month.  

For fire prevention and safety tips from the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office, please visit 

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, please visit

2024 Unintentional Fire Fatalities
Town Date Time of Day Day of Week County Victim's Age Gender Working Smoke Alarms
Littleton February 3 9:39 am Saturday Grafton 68 Male No
Litchfield February 20 8:00 am Tuesday Hillsborough 62 Female No
Gilford March 22 3:30 am Friday Belknap 67 Male No
Derry April 4 11:42 am Thursday Rockingham 76 Female No
Nashua April 11 11:01 pm Thursday Hillsborough 64 Female Yes
Concord April 25 3:57 pm Thursday Merrimack 60 Male Yes
Manchester April 25 11:50 pm Thursday Hillsborough 56 Male Yes
Nashua April 27 7:49 am Saturday Hillsborough 43 Female Unknown
Charlestown June 6 7:29 am Thursday Sullivan 38 Male No
          36 Female  
Dover June 16 4:08 pm Sunday Strafford 93 Male No
          93 Female  
Goffstown June 17 12:39 am Monday Hillsborough 66 Male No