More Choices for Fire Prevention Funding Sources

By Sarah Wilson

Funded at $35 million for 2009, the Fire Prevention and Safety Grant is the most popular source of funding for fire prevention projects. Outside of FEMA's FP&S grant there are other programs your department can access to fund your prevention projects year round. Examples of the types of projects supported by fire prevention grants are public safety education, code enforcement and awareness, arson prevention and awareness, juvenile fire-setter programs, sprinkler awareness, smoke alarm distribution, burn prevention and firefighter safety R&D.

Below I will go through some of the more accessible grants at the state, corporate and foundation level.

State Grants
Your state is going to have at least one program that will fund fire prevention. Good places to look are at your State Forestry division or your State Fire Marshal. Volunteer Fire Assistance Programs and Rural Fire Assistance programs will also cover prevention projects in most states. While I am not going to list a grant for every state, here are a few examples of upcoming state fire programs that will cover prevention projects.

Kansas Fire Injury Prevention Program (KFIPP) Grant due October 6, 2009

The Kansas Fire Injury Prevention Program (KFIPP) provides funds for community programs to reduce injuries due to fires and burns. This program is funded by a state-secured federal grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two goals of the KFIPP are to increase Kansans' understanding of the need for smoke alarms in their home and knowledge regarding fire safety by providing fire safety education.

Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program - Arizona due January 2010 est

The VFA program in Arizona focuses on four primary fire management activities — fire prevention and training, equipping, and organizing rural fire departments. The Arizona State Forestry Division, with assistance from the USDA Forest Service, administers the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program. This program will fund up to $20,000 and has a 50 percent cash match.

Alaska Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) and Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) due March 2010 est

The Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) and Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) provide assistance in training, equipment purchases, and prevention activities, on a cost share basis. The assistance is provided to increase firefighter safety, improve the firefighting capabilities of rural volunteer fire departments, and enhance protection in the urban-wildland interface. A limit of $10,000 per fire department has been imposed by the Department of Forestry so that more fire departments will have the opportunity to participate. Forestry will also match funds up to 90 percent, with 10 percent of the total project cost matched by the fire department.

For more state programs, check the grants search page on FireGrantsHelp.

Corporate and Foundations
FM Global
FM Global's Fire Prevention Grant Program supports fire departments and brigades, as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations by funding a wide array of fire prevention, preparedness and control efforts, including pre-fire planning for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities, fire and arson prevention and investigation, and fire prevention education and training programs. This program is open year-round with grant applications reviewed quarterly. There is no match requirement. Funding is not limited but should be approached as seed money to get your prevention program started. A review of past awards shows funding per department at or under $5,000.

Fireman's Fund Heritage Program
The Fireman's Fund Heritage is a national community-based program that provides funds for equipment, fire prevention tools, firefighter training, fire safety education and community emergency response programs. Fireman's Fund employees and agents award grants and provide volunteer support for local fire departments, national firefighter organizations and burn prevention and treatment organizations. Created by Fireman's Fund Insurance Company as its philanthropic mission, the Fireman's Fund Heritage program supports firefighters for safer communities.

The Community Grant Program is the largest program funded by the Wal-Mart and SAM'S CLUB Foundation and includes both matching and direct grants. The community grant program allows direct grants awarded to the store or club to be used in their community. These funds do not require a fundraiser to be held — instead the funds can be awarded directly to a deserving organization. To access these funds go to your local Wal-Mart or SAM'S CLUB and ask for the Community Involvement Coordinator. Explain your prevention program to them. This program is open year-round and there is no match required. A review of awards shows they fund about $2,000 or less per project.

Bear in mind that many private foundation grant makers will cover fire prevention programs in your region. We are happy to do a search of private foundations to see if they will fund your specific project in your area.

FireGrantsHelp is consistently updating our database of available grants to fund fire prevention projects. If you don't find a grant to match your prevention project e-mail us at and we will be happy to research funding for your department.

Best of luck with your prevention program funding!

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