The NFPA Public Education Network is made up of fire and life safety education representatives for every state and province who disseminate NFPA information to fire safety educators throughout their state or province. Periodically, NFPA will be highlighting success stories from network members. In this post we feature Fire Safety Educator, Tammy Peavy, of the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office. Over the years, Tammy has written successful Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Fire Prevention and Safety grants that allowed for the purchase and distribution to fire departments and community organizations of more than 120,000 long-life smoke alarms and 4,100 alert devices for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Tammy is also the chair of the NFPA Education Member Section.
Mississippi has long had one of the highest fire death rates in the nation. Peavy says the state’s smoke alarm installation program has been highly effective in tackling the home fire problem.
“We saw a great decrease in our fire fatalities once it was up and running,” she said. She added that partnerships play a critical role in the success of the program. These include collaborations with state agencies and community organizations.
“We partner with people already going into the homes with other programs, for instance, our department of health goes in for lead poisoning prevention and there’s the weatherization program. They do installations and activations while they’re there.”
Peavy says training each fire department/organization individually is most effective, providing incentives for installers, such as a fuel stipend or tools, and allowing the installer organization or agency to make the program their own. Her office provides guidelines for installation and proper documentation, but allows them to publicize as they feel best suited their department.
NFPA’s smoke alarm installation guide can help you plan and implement a successful smoke alarm installation program.