FD receives grant to help seniors, families get smoke detectors

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published September 23, 2015


ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak Fire Department will receive more than $60,000 in federal grant money to help equip city homes with smoke detectors.

Fire Chief Chuck Thomas said the money will go toward purchasing 2,000 smoke detectors for senior citizens and low-income residents with children.

“We were happy because it is money that we don’t have in the city,” he said. “And any money that we can get helps out.”

Thomas said the department will begin implementing a program to identify those eligible.

“We can go through the senior center and possibly the schools to locate the people in need,” he said.

This is the first time the department has received a grant specifically for smoke detectors. Thomas said that in the past, the department has received grants for extrication tools, breathing apparatuses and other items.

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin made the announcement last week that the Royal Oak Fire Department was awarded the $63,524 Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Levin said the funding is designated for fire prevention and safety.

“This award is going to a truly deserving cause,” Levin said in a statement. “Smoke detectors are proven to help save lives, and this funding will help keep the residents of Royal Oak safe.”

The purpose of the federal grant program is to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate incidences of death and injuries due to fire-related hazards.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program of the Department of Homeland Security is a component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards.

According to FEMA, more than one third of home fire deaths result from fires where no smoke alarms were in the structures. According to the organization, the risk of dying in a home is cut in half when a house has a working smoke alarm.