Posted on 05 Sep 11
Fire departments are not immune to the hardships created by the nation’s economic crisis, as stations across the country continue to reel from a lack of necessary funding and resources. The Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service, released in June by the National Fire Protection Association, underscores the continued gap in adequate funding, particularly for smaller community departments. To alleviate some of the burden fire departments face, Liberty Mutual Insurance is again presenting its Be Fire Smart Fire Safety Pledge Program, with $100,000 in grants available for fire departments across the country. Today through October 31, residents can visit BeFireSmart.com and take the short “Burning Questions” quiz to credit their local fire department. The ten departments across three population categories with the most completed quiz credits will each earn a $10,000 grant from Liberty Mutual.
“More than 78,000 Americans last year pledged their commitment to fire safety on behalf of 3,100 fire departments, allowing our 10 winning communities to expand firefighting resources, training and public education,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. “We are in the business of helping people protect their homes, and this is an easy way for neighbors to unite to help their local fire departments protect their communities.”
The “Burning Questions” quiz at BeFireSmart.com poses 10 true/false questions about where fires most often start and how to prevent and extinguish them. Participants who complete the quiz by correctly answering the ten questions can pledge that they are “fire smart,” earning a credit for their local fire department. Liberty Mutual will award grants to fire departments based on the size of the communities they serve – small (less than 10,000 residents), medium (between 10,000 and 100,000 residents) and large (greater than 100,000 residents).
In the past two years, Liberty Mutual’s Be Fire Smart Fire Safety Pledge Program has provided $200,000 to fire departments toward such needs as juvenile fire intervention, thermal imaging cameras, smoke alarms, firefighter protective clothing, and community fire awareness and prevention programs. Last year’s winners were College Park, Md.; Hutto, Texas; Merrimac, Mass.; Midwest City, Okla.; Mooresville, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Tittabawassee Township, Mich.; Whitman, Mass.; and Wilmington, Mass.
The comprehensive resources available at BeFireSmart.com are designed to help parents prepare to discuss fire safety with their families in an effort to increase awareness and home fire prevention. The site includes games, instructional videos, monthly tips and a room-by-room guide to preventing fire hazards. Additionally, kids can benefit from the interactive fire safety quizzes, tools to help build a fire escape plan and a downloadable coloring book that teaches the importance of never hiding from a firefighter during an emergency. Also available on the site are classroom lesson plans for teachers and resources for fire professionals.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on A.M. Best Company’s report of 2010 net written premium. The Group also ranks 82nd on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2010 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.