THE D.C.Fire Department, along with the D.C. Public Library system, began a smoke detector loan program Tuesday as part of Fire Prevention Week. The program's aim is to make smoke detectors available for District residents when traveling. The Fire Department will supply the detectors, with batteries, to all District libraries. The detectors will be lent in the same manner as books; residents need only produce a valid library card to receive a detector. For information on this, and the department's detector giveaway program, call 745-2343.

NE Auto Inspection Station Closed

To allow extensive renovation, the District has closed its Northeast auto inspection station at 1827 West Virginia Ave. The 48-year-old station will reopen in February. The city's other inspection station, at 1001 Half St. SW, will expand its hours, and will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. All inspection lanes will be kept open during these hours.

Arts Education Conference to Be Held

The Kennedy Center Education Program's Alliance for Arts Education is holding its biennial Summit Conference on Arts and Education today through Saturday. The conference, featuring discussions on developments in arts education, will be held at the Kennedy Center and the Westin Hotel at 2401 M St. NW. For information, call 254-7190.

Neighborhood Beautification Nominations

The District bestows its Annual Neighborhood Beautification Awards to individuals or groups making a special effort to keep their corners of the District lovely. To make nominations, call 396-9501 by tomorrow.

Applications Available for Home Repairs

Under the annual Christmas in April program, volunteer crews work on houses in need of repair. Because the organization needs time to select houses it will restore in 1988, applications are available now, and will be accepted until Dec. 30. Homeowners must live in the District, own their homes and be unable to do the work. Homeowners can nominate themselves. For information, call 362-1611.

English Instruction Offered

Project Horizons/Latin American Youth Center offers English instruction by native English speakers for persons ages 13 through 25. The classes include help with homework and practice with conversation and pronunciation, and run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Call 234-9085 or visit the Project office at 2439 18th St. NW.

Latin American Book Fair to Open

The city's Third Annual Latin American Book Fair begins at 6 p.m. tomorrow with an opening address by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes. A film based on a story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez will follow. On Saturday and Sunday, the fair runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features a film festival, children's entertainment and panel discussions. All events are free and take place at the University of the District of Columbia, Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street NW. For information, call 282-7538.

Job Expo to Include Counseling, Recruiters

To match jobs with D.C. residents, the city's Department of Employment Services will hold Expo '87, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Washington Convention Center. More than 100 exhibitors will counsel D.C. residents on the job market and training and placement opportunities. Job Corps representatives will explain opportunities for persons ages 16 to 22. In addition, private concerns will be recruiting. For more information, call 639-1179.

Exchange Students Travel Overseas

The D.C. public schools, with the support of local businesses, offer an international exchange program for students, placing them with host families. This year's traveling students are Sharon Miller, Angela Lovelace, Opal Wilkerson, Marcus Robinson, Barbara Calero, Glenn Orzech and Michael Williams, who are studying in Canada; Renita Holsendorff, Sean Riley, Rodney Moore, Erika Lewis, Monica Freeman, Destinie Jones, Miriam Liepold, Shaunga Hoffler and Latricia Tyson, who are studying in Israel; and Kwanza Jones, Catherine Niblack and Erik Robson, who are learning about London. For more information, call 724-4201, or write Student Services, 415 12th St. NW, Room 913, Washington, D.C. 20004.

Court Mediation Service Offered

Civil lawsuits pending in D.C. Superior Court may be settled through the court's mediation service, offered at no cost by the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Program. In mediation, a trained, neutral third person helps the parties involved work out a solution in a less formal and often speedier format. More than half of the cases taken through mediation are settled there. Those awaiting a civil trial and interested in mediation can call Anne Wicks at 879-2830. For other information, call Eleanor Nace, 879-2891.