Residential Fire Injury Prevention Project

  • McCool, Robert (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) proposes a project to install smoke alarms in low income, high risk homes in Kentucky (Ky) that lack smoke alarms. This project is modeled on our 3 previous CDC-funded smoke alarm installation / fire safety education projects and our 5 prior successful FEMA FP&S applications. This application is endorsed by the Ky Firefighters' Association (KFA), the Ky Fire Marshal's office, the Ky fire commission, the Ky Department for Public Health (KDPH), the Ky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network, and numerous fire departments. Overview: KIPRC will purchase long life, lithium-battery powered smoke alarms and fire safety education materials. KIPRC will partner with local fire departments and other organizations (e.g., local health depts., senior citizens' programs, home health visiting programs, Safe Communities groups, etc.) provide training and technical support to the local partners’ staff, who in turn will make direct contact with residents of low income, high risk households. Residents who need and will accept smoke alarms will have alarms installed by a project team member. The following sections are condensed from the FEMA application. Financial Need: Ky contains four of the ten poorest counties in the US; only one other state has more than one of the ten. Ky ranks 47th in the nation in median household income. State public health, the fire marshal's office, and the state fire commission have all experienced substantial budget cuts over the past two years. There is no funding available at the state level to support a smoke alarm installation and fire safety education project. Target communities are those with high percentages of low income households. Residents in these communities lack the resources to purchase and properly install smoke alarms for themselves and rarely have access to fire safety information. High unemployment, low tax bases, volunteer fire departments with little or no local tax funding, and numerous needs mean that no local funding sources are available for residential smoke alarm programs. Vulnerability: In 2012, according to the US Fire Administration, Ky's fire death rate of 16 per million was the thirteenth highest among the fifty states and the District of Columbia. This was 1.5 times the national rate (11/m). The relative risk of fire related death for Kentuckians, compared to the national average risk of 1.0, is 1.6. The CDC notes that Ky’s fire death rate is significantly higher than the overall national rate. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ranks Ky's 5-year average fire fatality rate as the seventh highest in the nation. This report linked poverty, limited formal education, high smoking rates, and a high percentage of the population living in rural areas to high risk of fire related death. Ky scores poorly in each of these measures. A lack of working smoke alarms is a key factor in Ky’s high fire fatality rate. About 60% of residential fire deaths occur in homes with working smoke alarms. In surveys we have found the percentage of homes with working smoke alarms to be as low as 23% in some communities; 21 of 27 communities surveyed had smoke alarm usage rates below 70
Effective start/end date8/25/178/24/18


  • Federal Emergency Management Agency: $125,770.00


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