House fires can happen any time, often when you are most vulnerable. The Sioux Falls Fire Department knows this and wants to help.
"We have a free smoke alarm giveaway. I think last year we bought around 1,500 smoke alarms," Assistant Fire Marshal Mike Top said.
Getting one is easy. Call the service number and tell the operator you would like a free fire alarm installed by a fire rescue employee. Or if you're in the area and able to install it yourself, you can pick one up.
"Anybody that wants to stop by, they can stop by at 37th and Minnesota or they can stop by here at City Hall, at 9th and Dakota. And we can give them up to four smoke alarms for their home," Top said.
Even though getting a new fire detector is a great way to help protect your family, there are ways to maintain the one you already have.
The Fire Rescue also gives away free batteries.
"In the fall when you set your clock back that is also fire prevention month. And we ask people whether their alarm is chirping at them or not. Once a year, we change the batteries. And that would be the time to do it. Change your clock, change you battery. It's just an easy way to remember it," Top said.
The program started in 2006.
Last year, the department spent $5,000 buying 1,500 detectors. Top says it's worth it to keep the community safe.
"If you're sleeping, this is the only way, the only good way, to find out that a fire is in your house. To have that early warning. That way you have time to get up and get out. And get out safely," Top said.
While it is important to test the batteries in your detector once a month, Top says you do need to replace the smoke detector once every ten years.
If you aren't sure how old yours is, it's better to be safe and get a new one.
You can call 605-367-8093 for your free smoke detector installation.