Thirteen people died as the result of fires in Fairfax County last year, and 74 people were injured. Fires caused more than $5 million in property lossess. To keep that from happening again this year, the county's Fire and Rescue Services are urging residents to learn and practice fire escape, prevention and detection techniques this week, which is fire prevention week.

THe public is invited to atten open houses, which are going on in each of the county's 26 fire stations. Activities include displays and demonstrations of firefighting equipment, presentations and information handouts on smoke detectors and their installion, home safety tips, tours of station facilities, and demonstrations of lifesaving techniques such as cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and artifical respiration.

Also this week, copies of the county's smoke detector brochure, "Be Alarmed," are being sent home with each elementary school student. Copies are also available from the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Office of the County Fire Marshal, the Citizens' Assistance Counter in the lobby of the Massey Building, and at all County public libraries.

Fire officials ask residents to take the following precautions:

Plan at least two fire escape routes from each room in your house. Practice fire escape routes to make sure everyone in the family knows what to do in case of fire. Install one or more smoke detectors, which fire officials say might have saved the lives 11 of the 13 people who died in the county's fire related deaths lastyear. Inspect your smoke detector to make sure it's working properly. Check your home for hazards like rubbish and trash in basements, garages and attics, overloaded electrical circuits, frayed or broken cords or connections on appliances, and improperly stored paint, varnish, and other flammable material. Have heating equipment and fireplaces check to eliminate any possible fire hazards. List emergency numbers near the telephone and make sure everyon in the family knows how to use them and to properly report a fire.