Chief Matthew Grafton
25 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
Contact: John Guilfoil
Stoneham Fire Department Receives Grants for Fire Safety Education Programs
STONEHAM — Chief Matthew Grafton is pleased to announce that the Stoneham Fire Department received two grants to support its Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) programs.
The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services awarded the Stoneham Fire Department $4,354 for its S.A.F.E. Program and an additional $2,600 for its Senior S.A.F.E. Program.
“Both the the S.A.F.E. and Senior S.A.F.E. programs are key components to the department’s efforts in ensuring that residents, both old and young, stay safe in their homes and at school,” Chief Grafton said. “Thank you to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services for continuing to support our fire safety programs.”
This funding allows the Stoneham Fire Department to visit Stoneham Public Schools every year for fire drills and interactive fire safety presentations.
The department, in conjunction with the Board of Health and the Council on Aging, is also able to supply free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, along with lock boxes to senior residents in need through its home visit program.
As part of the home visit program, representatives from the Stoneham Fire Department, Board of Health and the Council on Aging will arrange to come to a resident’s home to ensure everything is in safe, working order. All aspects of a senior’s home will be checked, including making sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order, stair railings are secure, water heaters and refrigerators have the correct settings, combustibles are stored away from heat sources, outlets are not overloaded and more.
Those who need a new smoke or CO detector will be able to obtain one through the fire department. Additionally, seniors with disabilities, medical conditions or who live alone are eligible to receive a free lock box, which can be installed outside their home and utilized by family members or first responders during an emergency situation where quick access into the house is needed.
Residents who want to sign up for a home visit, can do so by calling the senior center at 781-438-1157. Families who have concerns for a senior family member living alone, and who think they may benefit from a home visit, are also encouraged to call.
The S.A.F.E. Program is a state initiative designed to provide resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. The program aims to enable students to recognize fire hazards and teach key safety behaviors that should be used anytime a child comes into contact with a fire. Since the S.A.F.E. program’s inception in 1995, the average annual number of child deaths caused by a fire has fallen by 72 percent in Massachusetts.
Senior S.A.F.E. is a similar program that was created to support fire safety education specifically for older adults, who are most at risk of dying in a fire in Massachusetts. The program builds on the success of the original S.A.F.E. program and helps forge a connection between fire departments and a variety of senior support agencies working in their communities.