Arson prevention and awareness campaigns are among the fire safety programs supported by these grants.

FEMA/USFA Grant Period Now Open

The grants are competitive, and their primary goal is to target high-risk populations, according to DHS.

A new application period for FY2010 Fire Prevention and Safety Grants begins today, Jan. 3, and will continue for a month, the Department of Homeland Security announced. The Assistance to Firefighters Grants provide funds for fire departments and emergency responders, including smoke alarm installation, fire prevention and public safety education campaigns, juvenile fire setter interventions, and arson prevention and awareness programs. Program guidance is available here.

The application period begins at 8:00 a.m. EST today. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST Feb. 4. The grants are competitive, and their primary goal is to target high-risk populations, according to DHS, which includes both FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration. The program is administered by FEMA' Grant Programs Directorate in coordination with USFA.

An applicant tutorial for the fire prevention activity is available through the www.firegrantsupport.com website. The tutorial explains how to prepare and submit competitive applications. Applicants with questions about the grants should contact the help desk as soon as possible at 866-274-0960 or at firegrants@dhs.gov. During the application period, the help desk will operate Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

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