Gwinnett County, GA
Partners: Gwinnett County Fire & Emergency Services (GCFES), Gwinnett Christian Terrace, Gwinnett County Senior Services and Friends of Gwinnett Seniors
Campaign: “SeniorBSafe” Community Risk Reduction initiative – a fire and injury prevention program focused on older adults
Cooking fires are the predominant cause of fire in Gwinnett County, representing more than 52% of all structure fires in one- or two-family dwellings and 48% in other residential occupancies. A fire analysis covering seven years showed that the six-story Gwinnett Christian Terrace was experiencing between two to four reported cooking fires per year. The 125-unit complex houses older adults.
To protect this high-risk population, GCFES partnered with Friends of Gwinnett Seniors to conduct a pilot project in 2015 to install SmartBurners in all 125 apartments. A review five years after SmartBurner was installed found there had been no reported stovetop cooking fires at Gwinnett Christian Terrace.
The cost of the project was $25,000 with Friends of Gwinnett Seniors splitting the cost with Gwinnett Christian Terrace. The fire department put the two parties together and brokered the deal after conducting a formal risk assessment, proof that data from a formal risk assessment can help support these types of partnerships. A few years after SmartBurner was installed, Friends of Gwinnett Seniors stated that this was the best and most measurable project for creating goodwill that they have ever done.
The success of this project paved the way for the retrofit of SmartBurners in hundreds of additional high-risk seniors’ homes in the County. SmartBurner installation now plays an integral role in the GCFES multi-hazard SeniorBSafe CRR initiative.
You can incorporate this life-saving technology into your CRR program too. SmartBurner easily replaces electric coil burners and helps prevent cooking fires. The prevention solution provides a return on investment through insurance savings, energy savings, and maintenance savings as well as preventing the high costs of restoration and lost-rent when fire occurs.