City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

Emergency Management


House fires are a leading cause of loss of life and property. Fires kill more people in the United States than all natural disasters combined.  Because of the cold, dark, long winters in Alaska, it's easy to forget that our space heaters, candles, and fireplaces can be very dangerous.  Please take a moment to read through these "fire facts" from the United States Fire Administration.

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. It is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error, rather than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens.
  • Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Smoke alarms and smolder-resistant bedding and upholstered furniture are significant fire deterrents.
  • Arson is both the second leading cause of residential fires and residential fire deaths. In commercial properties, arson is the major cause of deaths, injuries and dollar loss.
  • Heating is the third leading cause of residential fires. Heating fires are a larger problem in single family homes than in apartments. Unlike apartments, the heating systems in single family homes are often not professionally maintained.
  • Candles are another significant cause of house fires.

What You Can Do

  • Install and maintain smoke detectors in your home.
  • Utilize fire safety while cooking, and have easy access to a fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Make sure your dryer vents to the outside, rather than into a closed space such as a basement.
  • Consider using artificial candles instead of real ones.
  • If you do use candles, keep candle wicks trimmed, and be sure that there is nothing above, next to, or near that might ignite. It is best to keep a space of at least two feet between the candle and anything combustible.
  • Never leave a burning candle in your home unattended, or even out of sight. 
  • Never leave candles or matches within the reach of children. 
  • Children should not be permitted to use the stove, matches, or fireplace without adult supervision.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. For more tips regarding space heater safety, click this link.

For more information, visit the Web site of the United States Fire Administration.

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