UNC residence halls safer with FEMA grant

The Fire Safety Section of the Department of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) recently received a second FEMA grant for a grand total of $440,086 in three years to purchase and install safety devices on more than 1,000 electric, gas and glass stove tops, and 416 microwaves in 71 residence halls on campus.

The 2010 FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Award grant was the work of Kitty Lynn, a fire safety officer for EHS, who maintains on-going contact with FEMA to watch for funding opportunities.

She immediately recognized the chance to provide an extra margin of safety to more than 19,134 students and families in these residence halls by installing various stovetop safety devices provided by the grant monies.

The use of these devices will also reduce some of the more than 800 fire calls that the Chapel Hill Fire Department (CHFD) makes to campus every year. Reducing unnecessary fire calls saves the Town of Chapel Hill more than $1,000 per call, an estimated annual cost to the taxpayers in 2010 of more than $700,000.

Additionally, every false alarm run that the CHFD does not have to make to campus keeps the fire personnel and equipment ready and available for a real fire.

Lynn says the goal is to have all installations in remaining residence halls complete by October.