Fire Prevention Month & fire safety grants

Grants are available for fire prevention education, wildfire management, first responder staffing and more

Fire triangle

Preventing a fire starts with understanding how a fire works.

Wikimedia Commons/Gustavb

October is Fire Prevention Month!

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge identified the second week of October as the national observance of Fire Prevention Week, in honor of the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. Fire prevention and safety has been taught to students and communities ever since, making it the longest running public health observance in our country.

Seconds make a difference when safely escaping a fire before it becomes a tragedy, which makes it important for every member of the community to take time during Fire Prevention Week and Month to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Celebrate fire safety this year with the theme “Learn the Sounds of Safety.” According to First Alert, three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms. Your home should have smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection. It is necessary to interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home for the best protection, so that when one sounds, they all sound. When the smoke alarm sounds, get out, stay out, and call 911.

Preventing a fire starts with understanding how a fire works. The fire triangle is a simple way of understanding the elements of fire. The sides of the triangle represent the interdependent ingredients needed for fire: heat, fuel and oxygen. If one of these components are missing, a fire cannot ignite or be sustained.

Here are two grants that help fire departments provide fire prevention and education:

  • Through the FM Global Fire Prevention Grant Program, fire departments and brigades, as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations can apply for funding to support a wide array of fire prevention, preparedness and control efforts, including pre-incident planning, fire prevention education/training, and arson prevention/fire investigation.
  • The purpose of the FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grant Program is to award grants directly to fire departments and non-profit organizations for fire prevention programs and supporting firefighter health and safety research and development. The FP&S Grant Program is separated into the following two activities: Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) and Research and Development (R&D).

Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in forests and other wildlands, such as shrub or grass communities. There are currently 2.8 million acres on fire, and unfortunately, wildfires have become part of daily life in the western United States. As the climate continues to change and drought becomes more prolonged, wildfire risks will continue to increase. In 2019, 87% of all wildfires were started by humans; remember, only you can prevent forest fires!

Here are three funding opportunities to help with wildfire management:

  • The Fire Science Exchange Network (FSEN) brings fire, fuel, natural resource, and land managers, practitioners, and scientists together to address regional wildland fire management needs and challenges. The FSEN provides the most relevant, current wildland fire science information to federal, state, local, tribal, and private stakeholders within ecologically similar regions.
  • Using a collaborative framework, the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) is interested in proposals for development of ecosystem mapping protocols and products that are scalable, applicable across several ecosystems and regions, and directly address identified needs of end users,
  • The Combustion and Fire Systems program is part of the Transport Phenomena cluster, which also includes 1) the Fluid Dynamics Program; 2) the Particulate and Multiphase Processes Program; and 3) the Thermal Transport Processes Program. The goal of the Combustion and Fire Systems program is to advance energy conversion efficiency, improve energy security, enable cleaner environments, and enhance public safety. The program endeavors to create fundamental scientific knowledge that is needed for useful combustion applications and for mitigating the effects of fire.

First responders and front line workers have worked harder than ever over the last year and a half, and we need even more help to keep our communities safe. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) was created by FEMA to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards.

Educate yourself and make sure you have the resources you need to keep your family, your community, and your city safe. Learn how to prepare your home from a wildfire with Smokey the Bear, or download your family’s home safety action plan today.