Have firefighters inspect your smoke alarms through this free pr - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Have firefighters inspect your smoke alarms through this free program

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PASCO, WA - The City of Pasco wants everyone to be more alert about having working smoke alarms in their homes.

The Pasco Fire Department tells us more than half of the house fires they get called out to don't have working smoke alarms. They also say a working smoke alarm can more than double people's chances of getting out of a fire safely.

The City is offering a free smoke alarm program where you can make an appointment for firefighters to go to your house and inspect smoke alarms.

Firefighters we spoke with tell us the story of an elderly woman who used the program's services and prevented what could've been a very dangerous situation.

"A couple of weeks ago she actually had a fire in her stove or in her oven and it was filling her house with smoke," said Ben Shearer, Community Risk Reduction Specialist for the Pasco Fire Department. "The smoke alarms activated and she wasn't in the room where it was happening, but because the smoke alarms were all interconnected in her house they all started going off, alerting her that there was a problem in the kitchen so we managed to come out and get the oven shut off for her and we evacuated the smoke out of her house for her. Again that was all because she had working smoke alarms in her house, so she was aware of that problem early before it became a problem."

People who can't afford to buy new smoke alarms can get coupons from Ace Hardware through the program. The fire department hopes that this way, it'll be easier for everyone to get one.

Something important to remember: smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years and batteries need to be changed every year.

This program is for everyone, but firefighters want to target older individuals who would have a harder time taking a look at the alarms themselves.

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