The Federal Department of Homeland Security has begun accepting applications for grants to local fire departments and safety organizations through its Federal Prevention and Safety Program, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, announced this week.

The grants are designed to provide funds to ensure local departments and organizations are fully equipped to ensure the safety of high-risk targets, including women and children, the congressman said. Higgins is a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

The deadline for submitting applications is Jan. 18. A get-ready guide and video overview on the process for preparation and submittal of competitive applications is available at