The federal government has awarded nearly $1 million to Mississippi to pay for smoke alarms in homes.
The State Fire Marshal’s Free Smoke Alarm Installation Program is the recipient of the Department of Homeland Security grant.
Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney said the department will use the $999,248 grant to purchase up to an additional 58,000 smoke alarms for distribution throughout the state. Low income families, senior citizens, families with children under 14 and persons with disabilities are being targeted to receive smoke alarms.
Installation and delivery of a special sealed smoke alarm with a 10-year battery will be coordinated through county fire coordinators. Chaney said that during the visit to install alarms, firefighters will provide fire prevention and home escape planning education and leave educational brochures for the residents to review after the firefighters have left.
Chaney said having working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a fire by almost half. Of the 29 fire deaths the State Fire Marshal’s Office has investigated this year his investigators have found working smoke alarms in only one fire. Smoke alarms were found but not working in three other fires.
“Every home should have a working smoke alarm and with this grant we hope to save many lives,” Chaney said.
This is the second grant awarded to the State Fire Marshal’s Office for the purchase of smoke alarms. Thirty-two thousand smoke alarms were purchased with a 2007 grant.
Communities should contact their local fire department for more information.
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