By Tamas Mondovics
The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Foundation was pleased to announce the receiving of a generous grant this month from The Florida Division of State Fire Marshal Bureau of Fire Prevention. The grant reached nearly $6,000, all of which according to officials, were used to purchase 200 smoke alarms each costing $32.
“To keep families safe, HCFR Foundation in conjunction with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, purchased and will install these alarms at no cost to residents that need them and can’t afford them.,” said HCFR spokesperson and Hillsborough Fire Rescue Foundation president Ronnie Rivera, who added that the smoke alarms will be a great addition to the department’s Project S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms for Everyone) program.
Rivera said that more than 3,000 people die in home fires every year and that many of these deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
“Smoke alarms save lives,” he said, “The majority of fatal home fires happen at night, when people are asleep.”
Rivera emphasized that contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke may not wake up a sleepy person and explained that the poisonous gases and smoke produced by a fire can numb the senses and put you into a deeper sleep.
“Smoke detectors sound an alarm, alerting you to a fire,” he said. “By giving you time to escape, smoke alarms cut your families risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half.”
Besides the grant from State Fire Marshal Bureau and, to support Project S.A.F.E., HCFR received a number of grants by means of the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Foundation in recent months.
To purchase some of the smoke alarms the department received $1,000 from Jonson Controls. Another $23,000 grant to install smoke alarms and fire escape ladders in Hillsborough County, especially at homes with pregnant women and children was also received from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.
“We want to thank Florida Division of State Fire Marshal for their support,” Rivera said. As the official not-for-profit of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, the Foundation’s mission is to promote Fire and Life Safety in Hillsborough County, and the professional development, training, and education of its members.
The Foundation also provides funding to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue to educate, inform and involve the citizens of Hillsborough County in protecting life and property in the event of an emergency.
For more information, visit www.hcfrfoundation.org.