Prevent the loss of life and property from fire and explosion.
- Fire training programs and public education.
- Fire and life safety inspections.
- Building plan review for code compliance.
|A: Result - Reduce loss of life due to fire.|
Target #1: Reduce unintentional fire fatalities (non-homicide) to less than 13 annual fatalities
Number of Fatal Fires with DF&LS Authority vs Number of Fatal Fires with No DF&LS Authority
Analysis of results and challenges: There has continued to be an increase in fire fatalities. Compared to 2016, the number of fire fatalities went from 18 to 19, with two fire fatalities under the division’s statutory authority in 2017. In 2017, 16 fire fatalities occurred in buildings where the division has no statutory authority for plan reviews and fire inspections and one fire fatality occurred in an automobile. There were 18 fire fatalities that occurred in structures. 9 of the 18 fatalities occurred in one or two-family dwellings, six occurred in a multi-residential structure and three occurred in residential hotels. The division continues to have limited success of reducing unintentional fire fatalities (non-homicide) to less than 13 annual fatalities due to the lack of residential building code and inspection authority, and little direct access to family residences. The division enjoys significant success in all other occupancy types where it is empowered to act.
Smoke alarms failed to work or were not installed in 22% of the residences where fire fatalities occurred. Alcohol or drug-use related fire fatalities decreased to 22% in 2017.
Fire and Life Safety data are reported on a calendar year basis. Visit http://dps.alaska.gov/fire/alaskafirestatistics.aspx for annual reports and more information.
|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
Number of Fire Fatalities in High-Risk Groups
Analysis of results and challenges: Nationally, children under 10 years old and seniors over 65 years old have been identified to be at higher risk for fire related fatalities. Alaska has seen this trend in 2017 making up for 42% of all fire fatalities. There were two fatalities over 65 years old and 6 where under 10 years old. One or two-family residences are the occupancy type where 87.5% of the high-risk fire fatalities occurred. The division did not meet the target goal of reducing fire fatalities in high-risk groups to less than 3.5 annual fatalities but will continue to focus efforts and resources on these groups. Public education at schools, clubs, conferences, state fairs, smart phone applications, etc., are utilized to provide education to the public and counter the loss of life.
Target #2: Reduce fires in high-loss regions to less than 773 annual fires
Number of Fires in Targeted Regions - Western Alaska, Central Alaska, and Anchorage
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. Therefore, the division has targeted these areas for increased educational and inspection efforts to reduce fires.
In 2017, the number of fires in these targeted regions decreased by over 3% compared to 2016. It is anecdotally suspected that many of the fires are due to drug and alcohol use, domestic violence, unattended cooking, and/or the presence of combustible items too close to heat-producing equipment.
|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
Percentage of Buildings in Compliance with Legal Standards According to Inspections
Analysis of results and challenges: The number of fire inspections decreased in FY2018. Deputy Fire Marshals (DFMs) conducted 631 of the 845 fire inspections. The decrease in number of inspections from FY2017 was due to vacancies in two DFM I positions and a reduction in the travel budget. The lack of recruitment incentives and training benefits, coupled with competing job opportunities, causes difficulties in the retention of fully trained staff and this contributes to the division not being able to meet the target goal of 30%. The TransAlaska Pipeline Fire Safety Specialist conducted 214 fire inspections. This position is funded through a Reimbursable Service Agreement (RSA) with the Department of Natural Resources, Joint Pipeline Office.
Prioritization of commercial 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 hazard awareness so a greater number of buildings will be found in compliance with legal standards at the time of inspection.
When an inspection generates an Order to Correct Deficiencies, each deficiency must be rectified as mandated by the Alaska Supreme Court in Adams vs. the State of Alaska. There were 960 follow up communication actions in support of the 845 fire inspections in FY2018.
|B: Result - Reduce property loss due to fire.|
Target #1: Reduce annual property loss to less than $48 million
Dollar Value of Property Loss from Fire (in millions)
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska experiences significant fire related property loss each year. Losses in 2017 increased by 56%. One large dollar loss incident included a fish processing plant fire that resulted in a loss of over $40 million. If the fish processing plant fire did not occur, the dollar loss would show a decrease of over 9%. The increase in comparable loss due to fire in 2016 and 2017 was the result of a combination of the economy and property value increases which is why the division could not meet the target goal of $48 million. The division would like to address the target goal and make changes to this measure next year.
Target #2: Reduce the number of structure fires to less than 1,176
structure fires per year
Number of Structure Fires
Analysis of results and challenges: Structure fires increased in 2017 by 2% from 2016. However, the division did meet the target goal of reducing the number of structure fires to less than 1,176 per year. The division continues to work to reduce this number through fire and life safety building inspections, building plan reviews for code compliance, and public education.
|B1: Core Service - Building plan review for code compliance.|
Target #1: Complete 95% of initial building plan reviews within 14 days
Initial Building Plan Reviews Completed within 14 days
Analysis of results and challenges: The target of completing 95% of initial building plan reviews in 14 days was not met in FY2018. Due to budget cuts, the Juneau office did not have a Deputy Fire Marshal with plan review experience and stopped accepting application. The Fairbanks office discontinued plan review activities, deleted an Office Assistant II, the Plan Review Bureau Supervisor and relocated the Fairbanks Building Plans Examiner to Anchorage. The office was closed on June 30, 2017. In the FY2020 Governor’s budget, the department is requesting to reopen the Fairbanks office with staff in order to meet our target of 95% plan reviews completed within 14 days.
Plan reviews are recorded as data elements that, when refined, provide many different ways to access information and research customer questions more rapidly and accurately. Each plan review requires multiple follow-ups and range from the very complex to the very simple. Further refinement of data input and follow-up continues to increase customer satisfaction. Total volume of requests received is purely economy-based.
Target #2: Reduce property loss in high loss occupancies-residential structures to less than $28 million annually
Property Loss from Fire in Targeted Occupancies/Residential Structures (in millions)
Analysis of results and challenges: Property loss increased by 27% in 2017 and the division was not able to meet their target goal of reducing property loss in high loss occupancies-residential structures to less than $28 million annually. 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 continually working to reduce this property loss through a combination of public education, fire and life safety initiatives, and plan reviews of four-plex (or larger) 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 2017 fire fatalities occurred, public fire education is the one component that will continue to support a downward trend in this sector.
Current as of September 4, 2018