Performance Details

Department of Public Safety - Fire and Life Safety

Mission

Prevent the loss of life and property from fire and explosion.

Core Services

  • Fire training programs and public education.
  • Fire and life safety inspections.
  • Building plan review for code compliance.

Arrow GraphicMission Results

Core Services
A: Reduce loss of life due to fire.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Reduce unintentional fire fatalities (non-homicide) to less than 16 annual fatalities
A1: Fire training programs and public education.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Reduce fire fatalities in high-risk groups to less than 3.5 annual fatalities
  • TARGET #2: Reduce fires in high-loss regions to less than 768 annual fires
  • TARGET #3: Reduce alcohol and drug related fire fatalities to less than nine fatalities
A2: Fire and life safety inspections.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: 30% of all buildings scheduled for priority fire and life safety building inspections to be found in compliance at time of inspection

Arrow GraphicMission Results

Core Services
B: Reduce property loss due to fire.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Reduce annual property loss to less than $46,000
  • TARGET #2: Reduce the number of structure fires to less than 1,191 structure fires per year.
B1: Building plan review for code compliance.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Complete 95% of initial building plan reviews within 14 days
  • TARGET #2: Reduce property loss in high loss occupancies-residential structures to less than $25,000 annually

Performance Detail


A: Result - Reduce loss of life due to fire.
    
Target #1: Reduce unintentional fire fatalities (non-homicide) to less than 16 annual fatalities

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

A note on methodology: the graph has been simplified with floating 5-year averages replaced by a fixed target. The target was achieved by averaging the number of unintentional fatalities over a 10-year period, subtracting 5%, and dividing by 10. The target itself is, however, not acceptable--only zero fire fatalities are acceptable.


# of Unintentional Fire Fatalities in Occupancy Types within and not within the Division of Fire & Life Safety's Authority
Year Total Fatalities No F&LS Authority W/in F&LS Authority
2013
16
15
1
2012
23
20
3
2011
11
10
1
2010
12
12
0
2009
22
21
1
2008
19
17
2
2007
24
22
2
2006
21
19
2
2005
20
18
2
2004
12
11
1

Analysis of results and challenges: There has been a significant decrease in fire fatalities. Compared to CY 2012, the number of fire fatalities went from 23 to 12, which resulted in a 47% reduction. There was one fire fatality under the division's statutory authority. Eleven fire fatalities occurred in buildings where the division has no statutory authority for plan reviews and fire inspections. Personal residences are where 10 of the 12 fatalities occurred; one occurred in an automobile and one in a marine vessel. The division continues to have limited success because of very limited residential building code authority, and no inspection authority for and little direct access to family residences. The division enjoys significant success in all other occupancy types where it is empowered to act.

Smoke detectors failed to be installed in 33% of the residences where fire fatalities occurred. 57% of all the fire fatalities had alcohol or drugs as a contributing factor to the cause of the fire fatality.

Fire and Life Safety data are reported on a calendar year basis. Click the link below to visit the website for annual reports back to 2004 and for more information and links.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics



A1: Core Service - Fire training programs and public education.
    
Target #1: Reduce fire fatalities in high-risk groups to less than 3.5 annual fatalities

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

The graph has been simplified and floating averages over a 5-year period have been replaced by a hard target. The target was calculated by averaging the number of high-risk fatalities over a 10-year period, subtracting 10%, and dividing by 10. The target itself is, however, not acceptable--only zero fire fatalities are acceptable.


Number of Fire Fatalities in High-Risk Groups
Year Total Fire Fatalities High-Risk Fatalities
2012
23
8
2011
11
3
2010
12
5
2009
22
6
2008
17
5
2007
24
10
2006
20
4
2005
14
3
2004
11
1
2003
7
2

Analysis of results and challenges: Nationally, children and the elderly have been identified to be at higher risk for fire related fatalities. Alaska continues to follow these national trends. There were no fatalities in ages 0-19 years of age in CY2012. This is very encouraging. However, ten of the fire fatalities occurred in those ages 60 and older. We need to refocus our efforts and resources here. Personal residences are where 22 of the 23 fire fatalities occurred. The division continues to have limited success because of very limited residential building code authority, no inspection authority, and little direct access to family residences. Public education at schools, clubs, conferences, state fairs, and other opportunities are the means we use to provide education to the public to counter loss of life in the young and elderly. The division enjoys significant success in all other occupancy types where it is empowered to act.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics
   • National Fire Statistics


    
Target #2: Reduce fires in high-loss regions to less than 768 annual fires

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

The graph has been simplified and floating averages over a 5-year period have been replaced by a hard target. The target was calculated by averaging the number of fires over a 10-year period, subtracting 10%, and dividing by 10.


Number of Fires in Targeted Regions - Western Alaska, Central Alaska, and Anchorage
Year Fires in Targeted Reg.
2012
845
2011
823
2010
804
2009
890
2008
824
2007
850
2006
939
2005
894
2004
802
2003
867

Analysis of results and challenges: Target regions are those areas of the state that experience a proportionately higher number of fires. Fire incident reports indicate the greatest number of fires consistently occur in western Alaska, central Alaska, and Anchorage. These areas are targeted for increased educational and inspection efforts to reduce fires.

In CY2012, the number of fires in these targeted regions rose by 22 compared to CY2011. It is anecdotally suspected that many of the fires are due to drug and alcohol use, domestic violence, and/or the presence of combustible items too close to heat-producing equipment.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics


    
Target #3: Reduce alcohol and drug related fire fatalities to less than nine fatalities

Methodology: Source: Fire and Life Safety Division

The graph has been simplified and floating averages over a 3-year period have been replaced by a hard target. The target was calculated by averaging the number of fatalities over a 9-year period, subtracting 10%, and dividing by 9. The target itself is, however, not acceptable--only zero fire fatalities are acceptable.


Alcohol and Drug Related Fire Fatalities
Year Yearly Fatalities Drugs/Alcohol a Factor
2012
23
13
2011
11
6
2010
12
5
2009
22
14
2008
17
7
2007
24
12
2006
20
17
2005
14
8
2004
11
8

Analysis of results and challenges: Impairment due to alcohol and drug use can cause carelessness, poor judgment, and decreased motor skills which can lead to fires starting from unattended cooking or heating sources or misuse of ignition sources. Impairment then contributes to an inability to recognize the danger, hear and respond to a smoke alarm, escape from a burning dwelling, and assist others in reaching safety.

The data were obtained directly from toxicology reports from victim autopsies or from blood alcohol tests on persons who contributed to starting fires relating to fatalities. The division continues to work with its partners and various foundations, public service organizations, and state agencies that advocate reducing intoxication and its negative effects on society.


A2: Core Service - Fire and life safety inspections.
    
Target #1: 30% of all buildings scheduled for priority fire and life safety building inspections to be found in compliance at time of inspection

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

In FY2013, the type of chart used is changed and the total number of inspections completed is provided to show context to the number of buildings in and out of compliance.


Percentage of Buildings in Compliance with Legal Standards According to Inspections
Fiscal Year Total Inspections Buildings in Compliance YTD % in Compliance
FY 2014
2,086
383
18.4%
FY 2013
3,051
1,175
38.5%
FY 2012
2,665
666
25%
FY 2011
2,529
589
23.3%
FY 2010
2,181
525
24.1%
FY 2009
2,256
855
37.9%
FY 2008
1,543
549
35.6%
FY 2007
659
180
27.3%
FY 2006
1,282
429
33.5%
FY 2005
795
214
26.9%
FY 2004
1,187
344
29.0%

Analysis of results and challenges: The number of fire inspections decreased in FY2014 compared to FY2013 due to two vacant Deputy Fire Marshal (DFM) I positions. One position has been filled and is in training. Training personnel and keeping a fully trained staff are contributing factors in the decreased total number of fire inspections. During FY2014, four DFMs completed the Division Fire Investigator Field Training Education Program. Upon completion of this one-month field training, conducted by a certified Field Training Officer, the four DFMs went from Peace Officers to Certified Police Officers.

Prioritization of building inspections continues to be based upon those occupancies that are at greatest risk of fire-related injuries, fatalities, property loss, and community impact. The division is striving to increase owner/occupant awareness of hazards so a greater number of buildings will be found in compliance with legal standards at time of inspection. Each item identified as needing correction on an Order to Correct Deficiencies must be followed up to completion as mandated by the Alaska Supreme Court in Adams vs The State of Alaska. There were 4,028 follow up communications actions in support of the 1,703 fire inspections that were not in compliance in FY2014. This is the second year that the division completed fire inspections in all oil and gas processing facilities for regulated and unregulated pipelines throughout the state. Again this year, we have had no unintended fire fatalities in any facility in which we have conducted a fire inspection.

Related links:
   • Division of Fire and Life Safety



B: Result - Reduce property loss due to fire.
    
Target #1: Reduce annual property loss to less than $46,000

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

The graph has been simplified and floating averages over a 5-year period have been replaced by a hard target. The target was calculated by averaging the amount of yearly property loss over a 10-year period, subtracting 5%, dividing by 10, and rounding to the nearest million.


Dollar Value of Property Loss from Fire (in thousands)
Year Yearly Property Loss
2012
$55,157
2011
$45,200
2010
$33,738
2009
$29,240
2008
$68,159
2007
$91,121
2006
$74,743
2005
$27,458
2004
$33,573
2003
$25,546

Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska experiences significant fire related property loss each year. Property losses rose in CY2012 as did the number of structure fires. However, it is believed that most of the rise in property loss costs is the result of increased property values. In the case of fire loss in 2006, 2007, and 2008 the Hooper Bay fire that burned most of that community created a spike in the dollar value of fire loss, in conjunction with the upturn of the economy. The reduction in property value loss due to fire in the second half of 2008 and in 2009 was the result of the down turning of the economy and property value reductions.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics


    
Target #2: Reduce the number of structure fires to less than 1,191 structure fires per year.

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

The graph has been simplified and floating averages over a 3-year period have been replaced by a hard target. The target was calculated by averaging the number of structure fires over a 10-year period, subtracting 5%, and dividing by 10.


Number of Structure Fires
Year Structure Fires
2012
1,237
2011
1,213
2010
1,168
2009
1,273
2008
1,225
2007
1,203
2006
1,337
2005
1,236
2004
1,183
2003
1,205

Analysis of results and challenges: Structure fires rose by three percent in CY2012 when compared to CY 2011. The division continues working to reduce the number of structure fires in Alaska through fire and life safety building inspections, building plan reviews for code compliance, and public education.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics



B1: Core Service - Building plan review for code compliance.
    
Target #1: Complete 95% of initial building plan reviews within 14 days

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

Initial Building Plan Reviews Completed within 14 days
Fiscal Year Plan reviews submitted Target-95% # completed on time % completed on time
FY 2013
1,097
1042.15
873
80%
FY 2012
994
944.3
717
72%
FY 2011
1,016
965.2
675
66%
FY 2010
1,075
1021.55
804
68%
FY 2009
1,249
1186.55
861
69%
FY 2008
1,024
972.8
718
70%
FY 2007
802
761.9
675
84%
FY 2006
1,070
1016.5
916
86%
FY 2005
915
869.25
771
84%
FY 2004
1,075
1021.25
882
82%

Analysis of results and challenges: The target of completing 95% of initial building plan reviews in 14 days was not met in FY2013, but is at a six-year high and is moving in the right direction. During the fiscal year, the plan review bureau experienced a slight increase in business volume. The bureau trained one new plans examiner, but then lost this staff member for personal reasons. The bureau is currently training another new person. Plan reviews are recorded as data elements that, when refined, provide many different ways to access information and therefore research answers to customer questions more rapidly and accurately. Every plan review requires multiple follow-ups. Further refinement of data input and follow-up continues to increase customer satisfaction.

Plan reviews range from the very complex to the very simple. Total volume of requests received is purely economy-based. Training personnel and keeping a fully trained staff to complete the work appears to be the limiting factor in attaining the target goal of 95%.
    
Target #2: Reduce property loss in high loss occupancies-residential structures to less than $25,000 annually

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

The graph has been simplified and floating averages over a 3-year period have been replaced by a hard target. The target was calculated by averaging the cost of residential property loss over a 10-year period, subtracting 10%, dividing by 10, and rounding to the nearest million.


Property Loss from Fire in Targeted Occupancies/Residential Structures (in thousands)
Year Property Loss Amount
2012
$31,688
2011
$27,027
2010
$21,291
2009
$20,867
2008
$26,206
2007
$57,130
2006
$49,994
2005
$20,354
2004
$17,085
2003
$14,009

Analysis of results and challenges: Residential occupancies continue to be the type of structure where Alaska's greatest fire-related property loss occurs. The Division of Fire and Life Safety is working to reduce this property loss through a combination of public fire education, fire and life safety initiatives, and plan reviews of four-plex (and above) residential buildings for code compliance. Since the division has no code authority, no inspection authority, and little direct access to single-family residences - where most CY2012 fire fatalities occurred - public fire education is the one component that will support a downward trend in fire loss in residential occupancies. The spike in residential property loss in 2006 and 2007 is due to increased property values; the number of residential fires has remained relatively static.

 

Current as of September 15, 2014