- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The state fire marshal says 69 people have died in fires in Alabama so far this year.

Fire Marshal Ed Paulk says 28 of those deaths occurred in January.

Gov. Robert Bentley has declared October as “Fire Prevention Month.” The fire marshal and the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs are encouraging people to plan and practice an escape route from their homes in case of a fire. They also point out that a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of a home fire fatality in half and an automatic sprinkler system cuts the risk by about 80 percent.

Alabama recorded 81 fire deaths last year, 78 in 2012 and 86 in 2011. 2010 was one of the worst years on record with 122 deaths.

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