NVFC, ICC Partner on Rural Area Fire Prevention Program
Revised states, replacing Mississippi with Pennsylvania; posted June 29, 2010.
The International Code Council (ICC) received a $133,000 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from the Department of Homeland Security to implement a collaborative program with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) designed to reduce rural community fire hazards and other potential dangers in residential homes. The grant will fund a coordinated public education outreach effort between building code officials and the volunteer fire community aimed at higher risk rural communities.
Through the “Sound the Alarm” program, volunteer teams of fire service members and building officials will visit homes to replace outdated or inoperable smoke alarms. The teams will educate occupants about the importance of proper smoke alarm installation, testing and maintenance. The teams also will conduct home safety inspections focused on building, fire, and property maintenance code requirements, and inform residents about the associated building fire codes that work to increase home safety.
“We are very pleased to partner with the ICC on this important project,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “Statistics show that rural communities are often at increased risk for fires. “Sound the Alarm” is a hands-on approach to provide fire prevention education to members of these communities at the grassroots level and ensure they are protected by working smoke alarms.”
“This grant provides an opportunity to save lives and demonstrate how building and fire officials can work together to benefit public safety,” said ICC CEO Rick Weiland. “The International Code Council and the National Volunteer Fire Council recently signed a commitment to pursue partnership opportunities. This is a superb first effort to turn that agreement into an action.”
“Sound the Alarm” will be piloted in specific rural communities in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Members of ICC state chapters will work with local Fire Corps teams to implement the home visits. Fire Corps is an NVFC program that enables community members to volunteer with their local fire department to perform nonemergency tasks, such as fire prevention education and home safety checks. First Alert will provide dual smoke alarms with 10-year batteries to be installed in the homes. A corresponding website and toolkit will also be developed to assist the volunteer teams.
The “Sound the Alarm” program is a continuation of a long-standing partnership between the NVFC and the ICC. In October, the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding to further their joint efforts to improve firefighter safety through building and fire prevention codes, collaborative projects, federal legislation and other partnership opportunities.
About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.
About the ICC
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States. Learn more at www.iccsafe.org.