Alaska marks National Fire Prevention Week

Firefighter Dustin Solberg assists fellow firefighters as they load the mannequin into the ambulance. EMS Capt. Becki Shipman and medic Emily Stolarcyk stand by, calmly assessing the situation and ready to spring to action. (Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times)

Alaska State Fire Marshal David Taylor is reminding Alaskans during National Fire Prevention Week, which runs through Oct. 13, of the importance of protecting their homes from fires.

Last year there were 799 residential structure fires reported in Alaska, resulting in 18 deaths, more than 50 civilians injured and 31 firefighter injuries plus property losses estimated at over $33.6 million.

Most of those injuries and deaths were preventable, Taylor said.

“We can do better,” he said. “It is imperative that Alaskans protect their homes and families by using simple fire prevention measures like supervising all their cooking and being cautious of electric heaters and wood burning stoves.”  Taylor also encouraged Alaskans to be sure they have properly functioning fire safety equipment, such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers in their homes.