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Alexandria Fire Department earns Life Safety Award

The National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company presented the Alexandria Fire Department with the Life Safety Achievement Award on Friday, August 22 for its fire prevention accomplishments in 2013.

It was among 142 other fire department from 34 states that received the award.

For more than 20 years, this award has nationally recognized fire departments for actively promoting fire prevention in the pursuit of saving lives.

To qualify for the award, fire departments recorded zero fire deaths in residential structures or a 10 percent reduction of fire deaths from the prior year.

In addition, award recipients documented active and effective fire prevention programs as well as a commitment to reducing the number of house fires in the community.

“The heroic efforts of our local fire service aren’t limited to rushing into burning buildings to save families,” said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of special investigations for Grinnell Mutual. “They also present educational information to local schools and other community groups to make sure people know how to respond to fires and how to prevent them in the first place,”

More than 1.3 million fires were reported in the U.S. in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the National Fire Protection Association. These fires caused 2,855 civilian deaths, 16,500 civilian injuries, and more than $12 billion in property damage.

To reduce those statistics, this year’s award recipients organized educational programs targeted to specific age and at-risk groups, conducted fire safety inspections, checked and installed free smoke detectors, provided fire extinguisher training, offered multi-lingual fire prevention resources, and promoted fire safety messages at a variety of community events.