Schools are designed to be places where children learn. However, children and staff must be protected and feel safe in their learning environment. Fire prevention is an integral part of protecting our children and staff.
Here are some U.S. statistics regarding school fires from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Between 2013 and 2017, fire departments responded to approximately 3,320 school building fires.
- The most common areas fires began in were restrooms and locker rooms; arson was the leading cause of these fires.
- Two-thirds of school fires occurred between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Annual destruction between 2013 and 2017 averaged: 1 civilian death, 42 civilian injuries and $42 million in structure damage.
Fire Safety Grants for Education
What follows is a list of six fire safety grants as well as tips on how to procure them:
#1 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants are a section of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and “support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations.”
Tip: Collaborate with your local first responders. Firefighters from each fire house can adopt a classroom and teach children fire safety such as “stop, drop and roll.”
#2 State Farm offers safety, community and education grants for K-12 schools through their Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants. To apply, first sign up for an account.
Tip: Liaison with your local State Farm Insurance representative. A letter of recommendation from the branch manager can increase your chances to receive the fire safety grant.
#3 The Walmart Community Grants Program funds K-12 public or private school fire safety initiatives.
#4 The Louis Calder Foundation provides capital grants for charter, faith based and public K-12 schools.
Tip: Coordinate with first responders; use grant funds to install fire suppression, fire alarm and fire alert equipment.
#5 The Hyde and Watson Foundation supports capital projects such as hard costs related to construction or building renovations and improvements, purchase of capital equipment and furnishings and other one-time capital needs.
#6 Motorola Solutions has teamed up with com to help schools get grant funding for their school safety products. A great option for schools is a school-based radio system to connect directly and securely with the radios used by first responders created by Motorola Solutions and SchoolSAFE. SchoolSAFE Certified Ready school personnel are instantly connected to community police, fire, EMS and 911 emergency call centers for reliable, secure two-way communication during a crisis.
There are also many private funders that care about education and school safety. The Cisco Foundation, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Aetna Foundation and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation support school safety initiatives.
As you can see from the available school fire safety grants, there are even local grant opportunities; it is important to do ongoing research for funders and foundations in the area of your school.
About the Author
Dr. Judy Riffle owns Santa Cruz Grants & Consulting, LLC, and has raised over 18 million dollars for various schools, school districts, and nonprofits. Funded and managed grants include school formula grants such as Title I, Title IV, IDEA Basic, and Title III LEP. Funded competitive grants include: McKinney-Vento Supplemental Education for Homeless Children & Youth, State Tutoring, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, school improvement, CA Community Colleges Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation, New York Learning Technology, Arizona Pilot Program on School Emergency Readiness, USDA Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program, USDA Distance Learning & Telemedicine Program, Baptist Community Ministries, Safeway Foundation, Tucson Electric Power, Cox Charities, Del E. Webb Foundation, and Arizona Disabled Veteran Foundation. Dr. Riffle is a former teacher, education specialist, new teacher mentor, and administrator with degrees in special education, Deaf education, and educational leadership. Besides being a member of the Grant Professionals Association, she also serves as Vice-President for the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce.
Learn more about safety grants for schools: