From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Chicago’s summers mark the time when homicides annually reach their bloody peak.

Winter marks a killing season of a different sort. Just as hot summer nights bring death by handguns, bitter-cold winters bring death by fire.

With winters come the use of stoves to heat apartments; the overloading of outdated electric circuits; the crowding for warmth in cramped quarters. Blocked exits become death traps. Failed smoke detectors become silent killers.

Chicago’s sad record on fire safety has not drawn nearly as much attention as the failure to address the problem of street violence. People die from fires in smaller numbers, which likely is a factor.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.