As fire prevention week comes to an end, Sioux Falls firefighters are offering some advice about how you can prepare your family and your home.
By having an escape plan for your family, and keeping your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors up to date... You can keep a bad situation from getting worse.
Tara Hathcock, mom of three young boys, knows just how important it is to make sure her family is prepared for a fire.
"When I was little, I woke up to a crackling sound. I went upstairs and I told my mom, "hey I hear a popping sound" and my mom was like "I don't hear anything go back to bed,"" Hathcock said.
But that popping sound wasn't something to dismiss. There was a fire spreading across her family's backyard. While she's thankful the fire didn't reach her home, it's made her cautious about having a plan in case one ever does.
"They're supposed to go to the ground. They crawl, "crawl, crawl, crawl," until they test the door to make sure it's not hot. If it's not hot they go out the door. And we have all the bedroom doors shut at night because that's what the firefighters say, so that way the smoke doesn't come in," Hathcock said.
Having an escape plan is just part of what you can do to protect you and your family. Fire Inspector Tyler Tjeerdsma says smoke detectors need to be checked yearly.
"You can just hit the button, test it. Now what that's actually testing is the alarm system, and that the battery is good, its not actually testing the sensor in there," Tjeerdsma said.
If you test your smoke detector and an alarm goes off, you should still replace it if it's 10 years old.
Tjeerdsma warns that debris and dust can alter the sensor over the years even if the alarm sounds.
So, instead of hoping it won't ever happen... Come up with a plan to keep you and your family safe.
"And if they're on fire... what do you do? You stop drop and roll," Hathcock said.
If you would like to have your smoke detectors checked, or you need some installed, the Sioux Falls Fire Department will service them free of charge. You can call this number for assistance: (605) 367-8093.
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