Grant to Gwinnett Fire pays for 4,000 smoke detectors - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Grant to Gwinnett Fire pays for 4,000 smoke detectors

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Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services will be able to provide about 4,000 long-life smoke detectors to elderly and needy residents thanks to a $62,520 firefighter assistance grant that commissioners accepted on Tuesday.

The money comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Georgia Department of Homeland Security. The grant requires County matching funds of $15,630.

The grant will help support a two-year-old Gwinnett fire safety initiative called Residential F.A.C.T. (firefighters and communities together). The smoke detectors will go to Gwinnett residents in 10 communities in high call volume areas based on incident reports and a needs assessment.

With community partners and volunteers, fire safety educators will conduct door-to-door visits in targeted areas to raise awareness of fire hazards, install smoke alarms where needed and follow up to make sure proper fire safety practices have been implemented. Some of the fire safety educators will be bilingual to help reach Spanish-speaking residents.

"These grants will help us proactively save lives and protect property in our community," said Gwinnett Fire Chief Casey Snyder. "We want residents to learn safety measures and interact with firefighters on a non-emergency basis."

Gwinnett responds to an average of 640 residential fires a year and had 12 related deaths in the last two years. There have been eight fires recently in two manufactured home communities where 40 percent of the residents are fixed-income seniors and 98 percent of the homes have no working smoke detectors.

Snyder said working smoke alarms can increase the survivability of a home fire by giving occupants an early warning and added escape time.

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