Smoke alarm program aims to protect Virginians

A smoke alarm installation and education campaign is underway in Virginia to prevent fire related deaths and injuries across the Commonwealth by identifying and installing smoke alarms in at-risk homes. Rappahannock County is participating in the project and will be identifying homes in need of the smoke alarms.

The program’s goal is to target high-risk populations such as homes with children under age 5 and homes with seniors. 

The campaign is being funded with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) is administering the grant and using the funding to purchase smoke detectors and fire safety educational literature. The alarms and literature are being provided to participating localities such as Rappahannock County who will perform the actual installations.

“A person’s chance of dying in a residential fire is cut in half when a working smoke alarm is properly installed and operating.” says Mark Buff, Marketing and Communications Manager for VDFP and overall project coordinator.  “Through this program we plan to increase the number of homes in the Commonwealth with working smoke alarms and also increase the number of residents who plan and practice a fire escape plan and test their smoke alarms monthly.”

“One of the key components we hope will make the program effective is its grassroots approach,” continued Buff.  “Localities, such as Rappahannock, know their communities best and can tailor the campaign to their unique needs.”

County residents interested in having smoke alarms installed in their homes can call their local volunteer fire department to schedule an appointment – in Amissville (540-937-5125), Castleton (540-937-4110), Chester Gap (540-635-5482), Flint Hill (540-675-3286), Sperryville (540-987-8124) or Washington (540-675-3615).

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