News, Police/Fire

State grant to fund fire safety programs in Nahant

A state grant will bring fire safety and prevention programs to Nahant’s oldest and youngest residents.

“These programs and materials are an essential part of the work we do to keep our community safe,” said Fire Chief Michael Feinberg.

The town is one of 246 fire departments in the state to be awarded public fire education grants this month. Nahant received two awards: more than $2,800 to fund a Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) program for children and $2,100 to go toward a Senior S.A.F.E. program.

The program teaches students to recognize fire hazards and teach key safety behaviors that should be used anytime a child comes into contact with fire.

Since the program’s inception in 1995, the average annual number of child deaths caused by fire has fallen by 74 percent in Massachusetts, according to a statement from Gov. Charlie Baker.

“The S.A.F.E. program has been instrumental in educating the next generation of fire safe children for 24 years,” said Baker. “The program is a great example of state and local governments collaborating with teachers to provide fire safety to young people.”

The money will also be used to purchase fire prevention education materials, such as DVDs and evacuation route maps, fire safety and home hazard checklists, and classroom visits for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

A similar program will be offered to older adults, who are most at risk of dying in a fire in Massachusetts, according to State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.

The S.A.F.E. and Senior S.A.F.E. programs are having a great impact on the fire and life safety of the most vulnerable populations — children and elders, said Ostroskey.

The Senior S.A.F.E. 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.

S.A.F.E. provides $1.2 million through the Executive Office of the Public Safety and Security to local fire departments and the senior program provides $600,000 in grant funds from fees paid by tobacco companies to the Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette Program to ensure their products meet the fire safety requirements to be sold in Massachusetts.

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