For Immediate Release: January 31, 2014

NCDOI Office of State Fire Marshal and NC Baptist Aging Ministry Team Up to Help Seniors Stay Safe

RALEIGH -- — Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin today congratulates the North Carolina Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal and the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry on their successful partnership to help make seniors' homes safe from fire.

Through grant funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Administration, OSFM life safety educators have been providing two-hour smoke alarm installation training courses and smoke alarms to NCBAM volunteers so they can properly install them in seniors' homes while providing other vital services.

"We are fortunate to have this opportunity to partner directly with such a hard-working and influential organization like North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry," said Goodwin. "NCBAM embodies the community spirit necessary to help protect North Carolina's growing senior population."

Since May 2013, more than 572 volunteers have attended the training and installed more than 1,430 smoke alarms during 465 home visits. The volunteers have also helped residents develop home fire escape plans.

The program has been so successful that several churches affiliated with NCBAM have expanded the program outside of the church and are going door-to-door in low-income areas to install alarms and get to know people in their communities.

Dr. Sandy Gregory, director for NCBAM, says the partnership is a key component of NCBAM's Priority #1: Prevention initiative.

"Having access to free, life-saving smoke alarms provides churches with a great way to minister to aging adults in their own congregations and in their communities," Gregory said. "We're thrilled to have partnered with the Office of State Fire Marshal and to be making life safer for aging adults in North Carolina."

Visit www.ncdoi.com/OSFM for more information about NCDOI's Office of State Fire Marshal and www.ncbam.org for more information about the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry.

--NCOSFM--