In Maryland, the first half of 2013 was particularly devastating. So far this year, 44 people have died in home fires; in 35 percent of those deadly fires, the structures either didn't have smoke alarms or the structures' smoke alarms were not operating. This is a significant increase in residential fire fatalities compared to the same time last year. In fact, in all of 2012, there were only 53 residential fire deaths in our state. If fire fatalities continue at this rate, there will be a nearly 50 percent increase in 2013. This is a statistic that must be reversed.