No Children Died In Fires In Massachusetts In 2020

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STOW, Mass. — State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced that for the first time on record, no children died in fires in Massachusetts in 2020.

Historically, children and seniors have been most at risk of dying in fires.

"To have no children, no one under the age of 18, die in a fire in Massachusetts is an amazing accomplishment," Ostroskey said. "Through the 26 years of the Student Awareness of Fire Education Program (S.AF.E.), firefighters and classroom teachers have been helping to raise a fire safe generation of children."

Saugus Fire Chief Michael C. Newbury, president of the Fire Chiefs' Association of Massachusetts, said, "This milestone speaks to the hard work of firefighter-educators to teach children what to do to save themselves in a fire. We find fewer children hiding under beds or in closets, because they know how to use their home escape plan."

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, "Ultimately, responsibility for home fire safety rests with the adults in the home, but the S.A.F.E Program has brought key safety information on maintaining smoke alarms, practicing home fire drills, cooking, heating, candle and match and lighter safety home to those adults. Goodness knows there's nothing like being nagged by a 3rd grader to test your smoke alarm."

"Just after this new year began, a child did suffer serious burns in an Oxford house fire. That reinforces how vigilant we must be to keep our children safe from fires and burns," Ostroskey said.

39 Deaths in Massachusetts in 2020

Preliminary data from the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS) indicates that there were 39 fire deaths in 2020, down from 42 in 2019. The deaths were all adults and 15, or nearly 40 percent, were older adults over the age of 65. The majority, 31, died in the so-called safety of their own homes. Half of these deaths occurred in homes where there were no working smoke alarms.

"Working smoke alarms give you the one thing you don't have in a fire – time – time to escape," Ostroskey said.

There is only 1-3 minutes to escape the average house fire in a home without fire sprinklers.


Source: Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System

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RMV Extends Designated Appointment Hours for Customers 75 Years of Age or Older

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will continue to offer designated Wednesday appointment hours for customers 75 years of age or older through March 2021.

Individuals in this age group are required by state law to renew their Massachusetts driver’s license in-person. Beginning in February, the RMV will also be expanding the license renewal appointments available for these customers to include registration and title services and transactions.

Designated senior service hours began on September 2, 2020, to offer customers 75 and older dedicated times and flexibility to conduct their required in-person license renewals while facilitating "social-distancing" protocols to keep customers and staff safe and healthy.

Senior appointment hours for license renewals, and registration and title services appointments effective in February, will continue to be offered on Wednesdays at the following 17 RMV Service Center locations (hours vary by location): Brockton, Danvers, Fall River, Greenfield, Lawrence, Leominster, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Revere, South Yarmouth, Springfield, Watertown, and Worcester.

Below are the options for seniors to schedule in-person appointments during designated service hours:

  • If you are a AAA member, you may make a reservation now to renew your driver’s license/ID or conduct certain other transactions at a AAA location. Visit to schedule your visit.


  • If you are not a AAA member, visit Mass.Gov/RMV to make a reservation to renew or conduct most other transactions at an RMV Service Center. Visit the Make/Cancel a Reservation transaction tab in the MyRMV Service Center and select "Senior Transaction" for all available RMV transactions. Reservations can be booked two weeks in advance.


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