Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) has been awarded a $140,000 federal grant to install 3,200 free ionization smoke alarms and 200 alarms designed to aid the deaf and hard of hearing. The alarm installation is part of a fire prevention and safety program funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The City is also contributing about $7,000 to the program. Installation of the smoke alarms is scheduled to begin in February.
In addition to those with hearing impairments, the program targets older adults, new Americans, households with children under age 14, multi-unit housing residents and those living in the Capitol View and Near South neighborhoods - an area with a high rate of residential fires. The target area is bounded by 13th, South, "L" and 27th streets.
To receive the free alarms, residents must allow trained staff to walk through their homes to conduct a fire safety survey. Staff will not report any code violations during the survey, but will make recommendations to make the residence safer from a fire. To request an alarm, visit fire.lincoln.ne.gov and click on the "Request a Smoke Alarm Here" link; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or leave a voice message at 402-441-7779.
The program will also include educational videos and brochures targeting non-English speaking populations and will use the "Fire is Everyone's Fight" campaign from the U.S. Fire Administration to promote smoke alarms and cooking safety. Television and radio public service announcements will also be part of the program.
LFR will partner with the Southeast Community College (SCC) Fire Protection Technology program and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) College of Engineering to allow students to work in paid internship roles to install smoke alarms and complete the fire safety surveys. Firefighters will also be able to do the installation and surveys as schedules permit.
City agencies involved are Aging Partners, the Citizen Information Center, the Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. In addition to SCC and UNL, project partners include the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Lincoln Literacy, Asian Community and Cultural Center, Malone Community Center, El Centro de las Americas, the Indian Center, Capitol View Neighborhood Association, Near South Neighborhood Association, the American Red Cross and Clinic with a Heart.