With a national report showing almost two-thirds of home fire deaths were in residences without smoke alarms, the Maui Fire Department is starting a program to install free smoke alarms and provide fire safety education for qualified applicants.
The Smoke Alarm Maui program is funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency's Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program.
The goal of the program is to provide and install smoke alarms in the homes of those at high risk, with preference given to applicants who own their home or apartment, seniors who live alone or with other seniors, households with seniors who are financially unable to acquire smoke alarms, financially challenged families with young children, and people who cannot afford to install smoke alarms.
Eligibility will be determined by a one-page application and telephone screening.
Applications are available at all county fire stations, Kaunoa Senior Services in Spreckelsville and the Maui County Office on Aging in Wailuku.
Recipients of the free smoke alarms are asked to develop a fire safety plan for their residence, including a fire escape plan and testing smoke alarms monthly. Recipients also are asked to respond to follow-up surveys.
"Injury or death from fire can be prevented by educating ourselves about fire safety and taking the proper actions to address common fire hazards," said Fire Chief Jeff Murray. "One of the most reliable and effective steps is the installation of smoke alarms in your home."
The Fire Department is working with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Kaunoa Senior Services, the Maui County Office on Aging and other agencies and businesses to establish the program.
"This program will allow us to provide not only great protection for the families but give them valuable information on fire safety," said Fire Inspector Kapono Stupplebeen.
He said installation will begin after the first delivery of smoke alarms arrives in October.
For more information, call Stupplebeen at 244-9161, ext. 27.