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Free Smoke Alarms and Alert Equipment for Oklahomans with Disabilities

If you are an Oklahoman you take tornadoes seriously and take precautions to survive the storms that occur here every year. But did you know according to the OSDH, Center for Health Statistics, 10 times more people die, on average, every year in home fires than from tornadoes in Oklahoma? Yet, do we take the simple precautions that are readily available to us to be alerted to a fire in our home, so we can get out?

For the third consecutive year, the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to install smoke alarms and specialized alert equipment in the homes of Oklahomans with disabilities. This equipment alerts the consumer and gives them as much time as possible to escape a fire in their home.

This year’s grant provides this life saving equipment for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, or use a mobility device. Trained professional installers from grant partners Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Fire Protection Publications, and Fire Service Training (all at Oklahoma State University), install the equipment for the consumer by appointment, and provides them valuable fire prevention education to help them be more fire safe in their homes.

Assistant Director Nancy Trench at Fire Protection Publications said, “We are fortunate that we are able to provide this equipment to alert individuals with disabilities and give them as much time as possible to escape a home fire. And the education we give these individuals teaches them how to prevent fires from happening.”

These grant partners have a long history of saving lives by installing these smoke alarms and alert devices through their past grants. Direct feedback, from Oklahomans who have received this equipment, has documented 18 “saves” from these grant projects.

“We want every Oklahoman to know what to do in the event of a fire. This grant allows us to follow our mission of providing the resources for Oklahomans with disabilities to maintain the greatest independence in their environment,” commented Linda Jaco, director of ABLE Tech.

There is no cost to the consumer for the equipment or the installation. Time is limited and equipment is available while supplies last. Applications and information are available at www.okabletech.okstate.edu or by calling ABLE Tech (888-885-5588). To qualify applicants only need to have a professional attest to their disability.