The Austin Fire Department was awarded a “FIRE PREVENTION and SAFETY” FEMA Grant on in the amount of $252,600.  With this grant, AFD’s Community Outreach Division was able to provide Fire Safety Prevention and Awareness to the citizens of Austin by conducting community outreach events, including smoke alarm canvassing and Fire Safety Educational demonstrations utilizing a “state of the art” fire safety trailer that was purchased utilizing the FEAM grant funds.  In addition, the grant allowed AFD to design and publish several Fire Safety Educational publications, video, and audios.

  • FEMA Grant Summary
    • Within the City of Austin, one of the primary missions of the Austin Fire Department is to eliminate civilian fire fatalities and injuries. From 2008 through 2013, there have been 26 unintentional civilian fire deaths within the City of Austin. In residential properties, there have been 18 civilian fire fatalities, 225 civilian injuries, and an estimated $88.1 million in property loss. In 50% of these incidents, there was not a smoke alarm present or a working smoke alarm present at the time of the fire.
      In 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded the Austin Fire Department (AFD) a $252,600 grant for Fire Safety and Fire Prevention. The deliverables outlined for the 12-month duration of the grant, included:
      • Coordinate 12 canvassing activities targeting identified neighborhoods, resulting in the installation of 700 smoke alarms and 360 home safety inspections
      • Perform at least 40 model home safety and extinguisher training demonstrations at community events with the grant-funded fire safety trailer
      • Create market-specific publications to distribute grant-funded printed materials to vulnerable populations, resulting in 100 smoke alarm installations
      • Translate the market-specific publications into English, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese
      • Create market-specific videos and audios in English, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese
      • Create a FEMA grant specific website

In total, AFD installed 1,715 smoke alarms in 1,480 households (71.5% above the grant deliverable).At the completion of the grant, AFD created a white paper to document the successes and lessons learned. This document is intended to provide guidance to other fire departments interested in implementing free smoke alarm installation programs or applying for similar government funded grants.AFD continues its mission of zero-fire deaths by installing free smoke alarms and providing increased public education within the community. However, AFD acknowledges that areas for further research include a long-term assessment of the impact of the free smoke alarm program and fire safety education messages to the public. Measuring the long-term impact of these programs can lead to better predictive analytics that help to identify high-risk groups within the community.

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