INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana State Fire Marshall's Office announced recently that more than 1,200 free smoke alarms, designed for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, are being purchased for distribution to financially qualifying Hoosiers throughout the state.
The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).
"Many fire departments around the state have programs to help individuals obtain standard smoke alarms," said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson, "but this program will help meet the less widely addressed, specialized needs of Indiana's residents who are deaf or hard of hearing. Indiana has a population of more than 500,000 individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and while the state doesn't have the resources to reach everyone, the alarms can make a difference for the individuals who do receive them."
Funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a $300,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program--Fire Prevention and Safety Grant will be used to purchase the alarms.
The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters against fire and fire-related hazards.
The smoke alarms consist of a strobe light and bed shaker to allow the deaf or hard of hearing individual to be awakened at night or see the strobe light while awake.
The alarms will be installed in homes by local fire departments free of charge to recipients.
Individuals who are interested to receiving one of these specialized smoke detectors, and who cannot afford to purchase one on their own, should apply online at www.in.gov/dhs by clicking on "apply for free smoke alarm."
The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office will be working with the Indiana Family Social Services Agency (FSSA), to qualify deaf and hard of hearing residents with financial need.