LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOTV) A statewide residential smoke alarm installation program is now under way, aimed at protecting high-risk populations, especially children and the elderly in Michigan communities. Making Michigan S.A.F.E. allows firefighters to install smoke alarms in owner-occupied homes free of charge. The program was announced on June 27 by State Fire Marshal Richard Miller at the Michigan State Firemen’s Association 139th annual conference in Ludington.
“Making all of our citizens safer from fire, one home at a time is our goal, especially in areas where there isn’t a smoke alarm installation program,” Miller said. “Every home needs working smoke alarms.”
Miller emphasized three key points of the program: sustainability, distribution, and installation.
“We aren’t simply giving away smoke alarms,” said Miller. “Trained program volunteers consisting of fire and emergency personnel are actually installing the 10-year life expectancy alarms in homes. By sustainable, we are encouraging municipalities and fire departments to seek local partners for funding to meet their community’s specific needs beyond this initial pilot program.”
Those selected for the pilot program are: Resort Bear Creek Fire Department (near Petoskey), Alpena Fire Department, Standish Fire Department, Salem Fire Department in Allegan County, and Rudyard Fire Department in the Upper Peninsula.
Any organized fire department with a state-issued NFIRS number in Michigan is eligible to apply to the Michigan S.A.F.E. Committee to acquire smoke alarms. They must demonstrate how they will meet program goals by submitting a Community Risk Analysis that identifies their community’s needs. Departments will also be required to utilize Community Risk Reduction (CRR) and assessment principles to develop and outline a smoke alarm program for their community. The Michigan S.A.F.E. Committee will provide assistance and guidance to interested departments.
Fire departments that are selected to receive alarms will be required to attend training. Departments will be limited to 250 smoke alarms with the opportunity to reapply for additional quantities. All projects must be completed within one year of acceptance
Funding for the program comes from a $95,000 Fire Prevention and Safety grant, part of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Homeland Security funding that is available annually to the fire service throughout the country.
The competitive, one-year grant was applied for and obtained in partnership with the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society, Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs and the Michigan State Firemen’s Association. Additional public and private partners for the statewide pilot include: Liberty Mutual Insurance, ESCAPE Fire & Safety Education, and the University of Michigan Burn Center, with more expected as the program expands. More than 7,400 smoke alarms were purchased.
For more information on applying for the program call the Bureau of Fire Services at (517) 241-8847. For information about the Bureau of Fire Services go to: www.michigan.gov/bfs. For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara.