Public Education and Community Risk Reduction

Fire Safety

The Hanover Fire Department Public Education Division is responsible for the delivery of fire and life safety education and initiatives in the community.  The Department has been actively providing public education to students and senior citizens in our community for several years.  The Public Education Division also oversees our Community Risk Reduction Program.

Public Education

Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) Program

The SAFE program teaches students to recognize the dangers of fire and the fire hazards of tobacco products through 23 key fire safety behaviors taught in developmentally appropriate ways.  Each year, Hanover Fire Department collaborates with the Hanover School Department to deliver fire safety education to students.  Our Fire and Life Safety Educators visit classrooms twice per year to review fire and burn awareness programming.  This program is funded exclusively by an annually awarded competitive grant offered by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.

Senior SAFE Program

People aged 65 and older are at a higher risk of injury or death as a result of fire or burns.  Education is a key component to improving the safety of seniors at home.  Our Senior SAFE program is conducted in direct partnership with our Community Services Department.  Together, we collaborate on local fire and life safety education programs.  Our Fire and Life Safety Educators regularly visit the Hanover Council on Aging and other senior housing facilities in the community to deliver fire and burn awareness education including (but not limited to): cooking, smoking, home oxygen use, and electrical and heating dangers.  This program is significantly funded by an annually awarded competitive grant offered by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.

Community Fire Station Tours and Visits

The Hanover Fire Department regularly hosts community and other civic groups to the fire station for a tour.  This provides visitors with a look at the equipment and facilities that help firefighters meet the needs of the community.  Tours also provide an opportunity to review fire safety with visitors.  For more information on Community Fire Station Tours, please contact our Fire and Life Safety Education Coordinator.


Community Risk Reduction

Community Risk Reduction includes programs, actions, and services used by a community, which prevent or mitigate the loss of life, property, and resources associated with life safety, fire, and other disasters within a community.  The Hanover Fire Department has been actively involved in Community Risk Reduction for many years through existing programing including fire prevention & code enforcement and public fire safety education.  Reducing the risk to our community involves the continuation of all those generalize services but with specific attention to several programs that have been determined essential to reducing the risk of injury or loss of life to our must vulnerable populations.

Residential Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Installation Program

The Hanover Fire Department provides a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector installation program for residents aged 65 years and older and other residents who are determined in need of these critical fire protection devices.  Working in collaboration with the Hanover Community Services Department, the Fire Department will make scheduled home visits to residents who have been determined candidates for this program.  Once in the home, our Fire and Life Safety Educators will provide a cursory safety check to include trip and fall hazards, electrical and general home safety check.  Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are then installed, free of charge, by Educators.  For more information about this program, please contact our Fire and Life Safety Education Coordinator.

Residential Sprinklers

Smoke alarms provide early warning, but home fire sprinklers start to control the fire. That gives people more time to escape safely. Home fire sprinklers work fast, and time is critical during a fire. Residential sprinklers are designed for life safety rather than property protection. Sprinklers put out 90% of home fires before the fire department arrives on scene. This prevents the fire from spreading to other areas of the home, reduces damage and protects people from harm.  Through the efforts of our Fire and Life Safety Educators and Fire Prevention staff, the Hanover Fire Department has been actively promoting the installation of residential home sprinklers in the community.  Annually, the department provides a side-by-side demonstration of a fire in a residence with a home sprinkler versus a residence without a home sprinkler. 

Heart Safe Community Designation and Community CPR Training

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the American Heart Association instituted the HeartSafe Communities program to help cities and towns improve their survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest. Towns are awarded points, called heartbeats, that determine if they qualify as a HeartSafe Community. The number of heartbeats necessary for designation depends on the community’s population. Heartbeats are awarded for the number of citizens in the town that have received C.P.R. training, community access to AED's and the number of first responder vehicles that are equipped with AED’s. The Town of Hanover was designated a Heart Safe Community in 2014 and continues to work toward improving the chances of survival for someone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Hanover Fire Department assists residents and community groups in attaining CPR certification through the American Heart Association.  The Department provides community CPR training at various points throughout the year at a reduced cost for residents.  Basic First Aid and CPR classes are available, on demand, for a fee.  If you are interested in learning more about CPR Training options, please contact our Community CPR Coordinator, Firefighter Mike Shaw at michael.shaw@hanover-ma.gov or 781-826-3151 ext. 3143.

Community Sharps Collection Drop Box

Home sharps, as well as unopened packages of hypodermic needles and lancets shall not be disposed of in solid municipal waste, including household waste, and shall be collected and disposed of in accordance with 105 CMR 480.125(B).  To assist residents with the proper disposal of hypodermic needles or other sharps, the Hanover Fire Department in conjunction with the Hanover Board of Health provides a Community Sharps Collection Drop Box.  This Box is located at Fire Headquarters and there is no fee or charge for those utilizing this method to dispose of sharps.  Home sharps will be accepted if they are enclosed in a leak-proof, rigid, puncture resistant and shatterproof container.  In addition to commercially available sharps containers, recycled containers such as liquid detergent containers may be acceptable.  For residents wishing to dispose of expired medication, please visit the Hanover Police Department website for further information.

If you find a sharp or hypodermic needle in a public area, please contact 911 and Firefighters will respond to dispose of it properly and safely.

Fire and Life Safety Education Coordinator

Eric Johnson
eric.johnson@hanover-ma.gov
781-826-3151 ext. 3126