Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center

Smoke Alarm Installation and Fire Education (SAIFE) Mini-Grant Project

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Updated: July 31, 2009



If you have a question about the project, please review the questions and answers in this file before contacting the project staff.  If the information in this file does not answer your question, please contact any of the project staff members listed at the bottom of this page for additional information.


What is the application process to get free smoke alarms?

        Read the application guidelines and instructions.  If you donít already have them, you can download them from this web site.

        Make sure that you are willing to follow the project guidelines.

        Fill out the application form (please donít leave sections blank) and insure that your agency head or an authorized official signs the certification page.

        Return the application form to the address listed on the form or fax it to (859) 257-3909. We prefer to receive original, signed applications via US Mail, because the originals are clearer and easier to read, but we will accept faxed copies. See below for information about electronic submissions.


How are applications distributed?

Application information is mailed to every fire department recognized the Kentucky Commission on Fire Protection Personnel, Standards and Education, using the address listed in the commission's database. Applications are distributed to local public health departments via the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Applications will be sent to other public safety agencies and service organizations upon request.


Our agency didnít get an application.  Why not?

If you are a state-recognized fire department, information about the application process was mailed to the address listed for your department in the state fire commission's database.  We have no idea why it didnít reach you, but we recommend that you contact the commission to insure that your address is correct in their database. Application information is also distributed via e-mail to those fire service personnel who are on the commission's e-mail distribution list.  Application information is distributed to public health departments through the Kentucky Department for Public Health's e-mail list.


If your organization is some other type of organization, either we did not receive a request for an application from your organization or the application we sent in response to your request did not reach the appropriate person.  We will mail or e-mail applications promptly to those local organizations that request them.


Is the application form available in electronic format?

Yes.  You can download it from this web site in either Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.


Can I return the form via e-mail?

Yes, but remember that we need a signature (not just a typed name) on the certification statement.  You can insert a digital scan of the appropriate signature at the appropriate location on the certification page or print the certification page, have it signed by the appropriate person, scan the entire page at 300 DPI or higher and e-mail it to us (along with the rest of the application, of course) as a digital image.  If you e-mail an image, please use only Windows bitmap (.bmp), graphics interchange format (.gif) or compressed image (.jpg) format. 


For those who want to complete the application electronically, a simpler solution may be to print the completed application and then fax it to us at (859) 257-3909.


What is the deadline for returning the application?

The deadline is different each year, but is generally in late summer. Please see the instruction portion of the application packet for the current year's deadline date.


Are you serious about the deadline for applications?  Canít we submit it a week later, when the chief is back in town?  Is there any way we can get an extension of the deadline?



Only under very rare circumstances, and only with an extremely good reason. In order to send the applications to the review and selection committee on time, we have to adhere to the published deadline.


We submitted an application last year. Do we have to submit a new application this year?

If you would like for us to leave your application from the previous year in the applicant pool for the current year, please let us know and we will be happy to do that. It's usually a good idea, however, to update your application to include the most current information about your agency and community.


In the simplest terms, what are local agencies expected to do if they are funded?

Local agencies must:

        Train personnel to properly install smoke alarms.  This is important, even if they are already certified firefighters.

        Sign up people to receive smoke alarms.  This can be done either in advance of installation or at the time of installation.

        Install smoke alarms in the homes where someone signed up.  Enough alarms should be installed in each home to meet the guidelines of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

        Provide fire safety education to the residents of homes where smoke alarms are being installed, at the time that the alarms are installed.  (This doesnít mean a two-hour fire safety class, but it should include more than simply handing the residents a couple of brochures.)

        Provide public fire safety education programs in their community.  This is where the local agency can be creative: the programs can be public events, school-based programs, programs that target senior citizens, safety programs for those who heat with wood stoves or space heaters, or any other type of activity that addresses the fire safety problems of the local community.

        Work with one or more local newspapers, radio stations or TV stations to publicize the project.

        Keep records of households signed up, alarms installed and educational programs that were conducted and provide copies of those records to the KIPRC project staff.  (KIPRC will furnish record forms for the enrollment and installation process.)

        Do a follow-up check on a percentage of the homes where smoke alarms were installed, about six months after they were installed, to see how many alarms are still in place and working.

        Track fires in homes in which smoke alarms were installed for at least two years and notify the KIPRC project staff if a fire happens in a home in which alarms were installed.  Tell us about the fire, whether people were killed or injured, and if the smoke alarms worked.


What do local agencies who participate in the project get?

        Free lithium battery smoke alarms to install in homes in their community.  The alarms are rated by the manufacturer as having a service life of 6 to 10 years. 

        Free fire safety materials that can be provided to people when smoke alarms are installed in their homes.

        One thousand dollars ($1,000) that they can apply to the purchase of any fire safety materials or equipment they want.  This money cannot be used to buy fire fighting equipment.

        Up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) in compensation for their time and expenses in doing the follow-up survey.  This money can be spent any way the local organization wants.


How many smoke alarms will each local agency receive?

This will vary based upon community size, need and the capacity of the local agency to install alarms.  We expect that alarm allotments will range from about 300 to 2,000.


How long do we have to install the smoke alarms?

You have until August 31 of the year following the one in which the grant was awarded.  For example, all alarm installations for grants awarded in October, 2009 should be finished by August 31, 2010.  


What if we canít get finished in time?

As long as a local agency is making reasonable progress, they will not lose their alarm allocation if it takes them a bit longer than planned to install the alarms, but it may affect our ability to pay the for the required follow-up surveys.  Local agencies that are not making much progress in installing alarms, as determined by the KIPRC project staff or the state advisory board, may loose their allocation of alarms or other project benefits.


Does a local agency have to be a fire department to submit an application?

No.  Local public health departments, service organizations and public safety agencies that are not fire departments can all participate.  You do have to have experience in fire safety programs, or partner with an organization that does.  If a local agency that is not a fire department applies for the project, we do expect to see efforts to coordinate the program with the local fire department(s), but we realize that in some cases the fire department(s) may not want to participate in the project.


When will local agencies know whether they were picked to participate in the project?

By early October of the year in which the grant is awarded. We try to notify the organizations that have been funded before the start of the National Fire Safety Week each year, but sometimes circumstances force us to delay notification until after Fire Safety Week.


When will those agencies that are selected receive their smoke alarms?

Unless we have unexpected problems with vendors or shipping, we expect to provide alarms to the successful applicants not later than the end of November, and we are usually able to provide them as soon as local personnel have completed installer training and the pre-installation community survey is finished.  Keep in mind that installations cannot begin until qualified alarm installers have been trained and the preliminary survey is done.


Once they have finished the project, how soon will agencies receive reimbursement for data collection?

Due to the time it takes us to verify that all of the required work has been done, and the administrative procedures that we have to follow when making payments, it may take six to eight weeks for agencies to recieve payment once the project period is finished. The project budget is set up to handle payments at the end of the project year, so organizations that finish more than a month or two early may experience slightly longer delays in receiving their reimbursement.


How many years will local agencies be able to participate in the project?

The application is for a one-year project.  The state advisory committee has not yet determined whether or not local agencies may re-apply for additional years.


How many local agencies will receive smoke alarms each year?

Typically two to four; the number of awards each year depends upon the size of each award (with the highest ranked applications being funded first), the overall budget available and the quality of the applications received.


Will there be more than one round of grants each year?



What is the state advisory and selection committee?

This is the committee that helps set requirements for the project, select applications to be funded and makes recommendations to the KIPRC project staff to improve the project.  A list of state advisory committee members is available.  An effort is made to represent public health, fire service and public safety agencies from different areas of the Commonwealth on the committee.  Committee members may not vote on the evaluation of applications from their agency or county.


Can someone be nominated for the state advisory committee?

There is not a formal nomination process, but anyone who is interested in serving on the committee - or nominating someone else - may submit a resume for the nominee to any of the KIPRC project staff members listed below.  That person will then be considered for possible membership by the advisory committee, either by an expansion of the committee or to fill any vacancies that may occur.


Who are the KIPRC project staff?

Weíre glad that you asked!  We are:


Thomas Haynes, RN
(606) 855-0328


Robert H. McCool, MS
(859) 257-6741


Ron Clatos, MS
(606) 783-5396


Please contact any of these staff members if you have a question about the project.


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