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 13 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 773 annual fires
  • TARGET #3: Reduce alcohol and drug related fire fatalities to less than 9 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 $48 million
  • TARGET #2: Reduce the number of structure fires to less than 1,176 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 $28 million annually

Performance Detail


A: Result - Reduce loss of life due to fire.
    
Target #1: Reduce unintentional fire fatalities (non-homicide) to less than 13 annual fatalities

Methodology: Source: Division of Fire and Life Safety

A note on methodology: The graph has been simplified with replacing the floating 5-year averages 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.


Number of Fatal Fires with DF&LS Authority vs Number of Fatal Fires with No DF&LS Authority
Year Total Fatalities No F&LS Authority Within F&LS Auth
2016
18
17
1
2015
17
17
0
2014
12
12
0
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

Analysis of results and challenges: There has been an increase in fire fatalities. Compared to 2015, the number of fire fatalities went from 17 to 18, with one fire fatality under the divisionís statutory authority in 2016. In 2016, 17 fire fatalities occurred in buildings where the division has no statutory authority for plan reviews and fire inspections. There were 15 fire fatalities that occurred in structures. 14 of the 15 fatalities occurred in one or two-family dwellings and one occurred in a multi-residential structure. 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 20% of the residences where fire fatalities occurred. Alcohol or drug-use related fire fatalities increased to 60% in 2016.

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.


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: 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
2016
18
3
2015
17
11
2014
12
2
2013
16
4
2012
23
8
2011
11
3
2010
12
5
2009
22
6
2008
17
5
2007
24
10
2006
20
4

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 did not have this trend in 2016 as there were no fatalities under 10 years old and three over 65 years old which made up 17% of all fire fatalities. One or two-family residences are the occupancy type where 72% of the fire fatalities occurred. The division has met the target goal of reducing fire fatalities in high-risk groups to less than 3.5 annual fatalities and 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.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics
   • National Fire Statistics


    
Target #2: Reduce fires in high-loss regions to less than 773 annual fires

Methodology: 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.
2016
783
2015
869
2014
861
2013
863
2012
845
2011
823
2010
804
2009
890
2008
824
2007
850
2006
939

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 2016, the number of fires in these targeted regions decreased by almost 10% compared to 2015, however this number was slightly above are target of 773. 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.


Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics


    
Target #3: Reduce alcohol and drug related fire fatalities to less than 9 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
2016
18
12
2015
17
2
2014
12
7
2013
16
12
2012
23
13
2011
11
6
2010
12
5
2009
22
14
2008
17
7
2007
24
12
2006
20
17

Analysis of results and challenges: In 2016, the number of alcohol and drug related fatalities increased to twelve or 60% from 2015 which is above our target goal of nine. Impairment due to alcohol and drug-use can cause carelessness, poor judgment, and decreased motor skills leading to fires from unattended cooking, heating sources or the misuse of combustible material. Impairment contributes to the inability to recognize the danger, hear and respond to smoke alarms, escape from a burning dwelling, or assist others in reaching safety.

Data was obtained from victim autopsy toxicology reports or from blood alcohol tests on persons who contributed to fires related to fatalities. The division continues to work with its partners, 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 was 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 2017
1,350
345
25.56
FY 2016
2,236
276
12.34%
FY 2015
1,897
1,030
54.3%
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%

Analysis of results and challenges: The number of fire inspections decreased in FY2017. Deputy Fire Marshals (DFMs) conducted 223 of the 1,350 fire inspections. The decrease in number of inspections from FY2016 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 1,127 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 1,017 follow up communication actions in support of the 1,005 fire inspections that were not in compliance in FY2017. This is the fifth 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 had one unintended fire fatality in a facility in which we had previously 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 $48 million

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 millions)
Year Yearly Property Loss
2016
$60.9
2015
$55.6
2014
$66.2
2013
$47.2
2012
$55.2
2011
$45.2
2010
$33.7
2009
$29.2
2008
$68.2
2007
$91.1
2006
$74.7

Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska experiences significant fire related property loss each year. Losses in 2016 increased by 9%, which included seven incidents that resulted in losses of over $16 million each. In comparison, there were five structure related losses in 2007 and 2008, each exceeding over $11 million. The increase in comparable loss due to fire in 2015 and 2016 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.

Related links:
   • Alaska Fire Statistics


    
Target #2: Reduce the number of structure fires to less than 1,176
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
2016
1,108
2015
1,216
2014
1,253
2013
1,236
2012
1,237
2011
1,213
2010
1,168
2009
1,273
2008
1,225
2007
1,203
2006
1,337

Analysis of results and challenges: Structure fires decreased in 2016 by 21% and the division has met 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.

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 # completed on time % completed on time
FY 2017
966
679
70%
FY 2016
1,077
876
81%
FY 2015
1,099
950
86%
FY 2014
1,264
765
61%
FY 2013
1,097
873
80%
FY 2012
994
717
72%
FY 2011
1,016
675
66%
FY 2010
1,075
804
68%
FY 2009
1,249
861
69%
FY 2008
1,024
718
70%
FY 2007
802
675
84%

Analysis of results and challenges: The target of completing 95% of initial building plan reviews in 14 days was not met in FY2017. The adoption of the new marijuana regulations required the bureau to research, develop, and implement a marijuana establishment (retail, cultivation, product manufacturing, and testing facilities) plan review process. It also required training and education for Building Plan Examiners on the different types of cultivation and product manufacturing methods to include heating and ventilation equipment. During FY2017, the bureau faced many challenges. The Anchorage Office Assistant II position transferred to another bureau and was vacant for five months. During the vacancy the duties were accomplished by a Building Plans Examiner. The Juneau office stopped accepting plan reviews and in preparation for the FY2018 budget reductions, the Fairbanks office discontinued plan review activities and was closed on June 30. FY2018 budget reductions also included the deletion of the Fairbanks Office Assistant II, the Anchorage Plan Review Bureau Supervisor and relocation of the Fairbanks Building Plans Examiner to Anchorage.

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

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 millions)
Year Property Loss Amount
2016
$26.4
2015
$31.9
2014
$25.6
2013
$29.2
2012
$31.7
2011
$27.0
2010
$21.3
2009
$20.9
2008
$26.2
2007
$57.1
2006
$50.0

Analysis of results and challenges: Property loss decreased by 17% in 2016 and the division was 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 2016 fire fatalities occurred, public fire education is the one component that will continue to support a downward trend in this sector.

 

Current as of October 4, 2017