Smoke Alarm Scheme


The Smoke Alarm Scheme is funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government. The pilot scheme for the installation of smoke alarms was announced in August 2006. The pilot project was launched as part of a campaign to have a working smoke alarm in every household. As part of the Community Fire Safety project under the Minister’s Fire Services Change Programme the Department commissioned research on smoke alarm ownership.  That research indicated that 20% of households had no working smoke alarm and the Department made arrangements to undertake a range of measures aimed to achieve a situation where every household has at least two working smoke alarms as quickly as possible.
Under this pilot scheme, the local authorities, with the assistance of the voluntary sector and others who visit persons in vulnerable households, identified those households where there are no smoke alarms and arranged for the supply and installation of two smoke alarms in each such household.  Up to 250 households were dealt with by each local authority participating in the pilot scheme.  The Department paid the cost of the purchase of the smoke alarms by the local authorities. The smoke alarms were installed either by those who visit the households or by the local authority.
As the number of vulnerable households identified exceeded expectations it was decided to increase the number in each local authority area.  It is envisaged, that more households will be targeted and funding will be provided accordingly.  Each local authority draws up its own installers checklist which includes questions on location, household type and family numbers and this data will assist the fire services in future risk management.

The alarms which installed are 10 year, self-contained, battery-operated models. The smoke alarms are installed without cost to the householder.
Groups involved in this project are the Community and Voluntary Forum, the Kerry Fire Service, Local Development companies, Community Alert and the South Kerry Development, The Rural Social Scheme, and North and East Kerry Development.  It is with the assistance of the Rural Social Scheme that the free installation is being carried out.
People who are found to be eligible for this scheme are contacted by a member of the Community & Voluntary Forum or a Rural Social Scheme Supervisor. A suitable time is arranged to install the alarm and if the person does not want to avail of the scheme, the alarm will be allocated to another person in the community.
In Kerry the group managing this scheme comprises of a co-ordinating body comprising of Kerry Co Fire Service, An Garda Síochána, Local Development Leader Groups including South Kerry Development Partnership, North and East Kerry Development, Community Alert and the Kerry Community & Voluntary Forum.  The primary contact and installation is carried out through the Rural Social Scheme personnel, a scheme that is administered by the Local Development Leader Groups.  Households are identified through local contacts including Community Alert groups, Community Councils and other local networks.  The Rural Social Scheme personnel are trained in installation methods and Fire Safety by the Kerry Fire Service.  The County Co-ordination group meets approx three times a year and policy issues are discussed relating to target groups, coverage, installation issues and training needs.
Alarms are also available for people with a hearing disability. 
If you wish to avail of this service, please contact your nearest local voluntary organisation.