Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fire Safety Pledges Can Earn Local Fire Departments $10K in Funding From Liberty Mutual Insurance

Local Residents Support Their Fire Departments by Testing Fire Safety Knowledge at

From New York City to Madison Township, Ind., cities and towns of all sizes are watching a life saving institution struggle for funding, and in some cases close its doors: the community fire house. In fact, less than a quarter of U.S. fire departments are operating with sufficient budgets, according to a 2008 National Fire Protection Association survey. To curb this trend, 10 local departments can again turn to their own community residents to help them earn desperately needed funding: Liberty Mutual Insurance’s $100,000 BeFireSmart Safety Pledge Program renews today, enabling community members to complete a fire safety quiz at that could lead to their local department earning one of ten $10,000 grants.

This is the second year of the BeFireSmart Safety Pledge Program, designed to help America’s fire houses with new equipment or fire prevention program resources. Last year, Liberty Mutual awarded a combined $100,000 to these ten winning communities’ fire departments: Ashburn, Va.; Bay City, Mich.; Carmel, Ind.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Crescent Springs-Villa Hills, Ky.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Quincy, Mass.; Upton, Mass.; Westfield, Ind.; and Weymouth, Mass.

“Struggling cities and towns across the country are making drastic decisions to shutter firehouses or cut back on personnel due to budgetary constraints. This is an opportunity for residents to unite in support of our fire service men and women who tirelessly work to keep us safe and secure,” said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. “At the same time, the short quiz and tour through the interactive site will provide moms and dads with valuable information about protecting their families and homes from the devastation of a fire.”

Now through October 31, residents can support their local fire departments by taking the online “Burning Questions” quiz at to demonstrate their fire safety knowledge. The quiz asks true/false questions about where fires start and how to prevent and extinguish them. Those who complete the quiz, by answering ten questions correctly, pledge that they are “fire smart” and earn a credit for their local fire department. They can then spread the word by importing their e-mail contacts and sending a challenge to friends and neighbors to encourage them to make the same pledge. The ten fire departments that accumulate the greatest number of credits based on the size of their community will each receive a $10,000 donation for their station.

The Liberty Mutual BeFireSmart Safety Pledge donations will be awarded to fire departments based on the size of the communities they serve – small (less than 10,000 residents), medium (between 10,000 and 100,000 residents) and large (greater than 100,000 residents). Communities must have a minimum participation of 1 percent of their population to be eligible.

There are vast resources for parents at to help them prepare their families about fire safety and to prevent home fires from occurring. The site includes games, instructional videos, interactive fire safety quizzes and a tool to build your own fire escape plan. The fast and fun kids’ section also features a downloadable coloring book that tells a story about the importance of never hiding from a firefighter during a fire. The site also offers classroom lesson plans for teachers, and resources for firefighters.

About Liberty Mutual Group

“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group ( is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 71st on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2009 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world. The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual ( sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

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