State fire marshal's office promotes winter safety

Posted: Monday, October 13, 2003

Alaskans are almost twice as likely to die in a fire than the average U.S. resident, according to a press release drafted by the Alaska Fire Marshal's Office this month.

Such statistics are alarming, and the office is hoping education will help decrease the numbers.

The state has declared October Fire Prevention Month, and the fire marshal's office had some tips to help keep Alaskans safer in their homes.

"The Alaska Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Prevention wants to remind Alaskans to be more cautious in winter months when an increased number of heat and flame sources are in use," the press release said.

Also, it added that fires caused by careless smoking are the No. 1 cause of fire deaths in the state.

"Four of the six fire deaths in 2003 were caused by careless smoking," the release said. "Several strategies can be used to reduce the occurrence of fires started by careless smoking."

These strategies include:

Never smoke in bed;

Smoke outside;

Use deep ashtrays; and

Check all furniture for smoldering cigarettes after entertaining guests.

The fire marshal's office also wants Alaskans to know how to get and stay safe in the event of a fire.

Each family should know two ways out of the house, how to open exit windows and where to meet.

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