Officials urge fire safety

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 3, 2014

With nearly 70 deaths caused by fires this year, Alabama officials are urging residents to focus on fire safety and prevention measures.

The State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk says 69 people have died in fires in Alabama so far this year.

“One preventable fire fatality is too many,” Paulk said, “so getting through a month like January was extremely trying for all of Alabama’s firefighters and first responders, not to mention the families and friends who lost loved ones.”

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Gov. Robert Bentley has declared October as “Fire Prevention Month.”

“There are so many little but important things we can do and think about that will prevent fires and save lives that we are urging Alabamians to just ‘Turn Your Attention to Fire Prevention,’” Faulk said.

Alabamians are encouraged to respond to public education measures and take personal steps, like planning and practicing home fire escape plans, in order to be more likely to survive a fire. The State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds citizens that a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of a home fire fatality in half and an automatic fire sprinkler system in the home cuts the risk by approximately 80 percent.

Alabama recorded 81 fire deaths last year, 78 in 2012 and 86 in 2011.

2010 was one of the worst years on record with 122 deaths.