The Somerville Council on Aging in conjunction with the Somerville Fire Department have been offering free
smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors to Somerville’s older adults as part of the Senior SAFE Program.
The Senior SAFE program was created by the Legislature in the FY ‘14 budget. It is a grant program to local fire departments to support fire and safety education for older adults, those most at risk of dying in fires in our state. Senior SAFE builds on the successful 19 years of the school-based Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program that has reduced the average annual child fire deaths by 72%. The fire service expects to have a similar impact for older adults.
Some of the fire and burn risks for older adults include cooking, smoking, home oxygen use, electrical and heating dangers. In addition, Senior SAFE aims to improve the safety of older adult homes. Programs may include the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, testing and replacing batteries in these devices, the installation and checking of house numbers, high end heat limiting devices on stoves, in-hood stove fire extinguishers, nightlights, and other fall prevention interventions where needed to provide the at-risk older adult population in the community. In addition to installing any of these important safety devices, education specific to their circumstances is a crucial component of improving the safety of older adults at home.
The Senior SAFE Program is designed to create a partnership between the older adults and fire departments through established providers of senior support services such as the Council on Aging, Senior Center, Visiting Nurse Association, or other similar agencies.
The Somerville Fire Department was one of several Massachusetts Cities and Towns to have received a portion of this grant to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the homes of our older adults. In a short period of time, the SFD has installed over 50 smoke & carbon monoxide detectors to qualifying residents.
If you are an older adult (60 years of age or older) and live in Somerville, own or rent, please contact Maureen Bastardi, Outreach Worker at the Somerville Council on Aging, at 617-625-6600, ext. 2300 to find out how to get yours.
Fire Lieutenant Dave Stiltner speaks with Mrs. Stella Moccia of 71 Putnam Road about the Senior S.A.F.E. program.
Photo 1: Fire Lieutenant Dave Stiltner speaks with Mrs. Stella Moccia of 71 Putnam Road about the Senior S.A.F.E. program.
Photo 2: Firefighter German’ Sanchez’ installs a new smoke detector.