The persistent sound of a smoke detector can give a family precious seconds to get out of a burning house.
The Pratt Fire Department wants every family to have those seconds and are offering free smoke detectors especially to families or seniors with limited incomes or anyone else that needs a detector, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.
Following the tragic house fire that claimed the lives of 1-year-old twin boys Jayce and Jasper Ibarra on Dec. 23, 2013, city firefighters wanted something positive to happen to help prevent that kind of tragedy from happening again.
The name of the smoke detector initiative is "Alarms from Angels" and is designed to get smoke detectors in every home in Pratt, said Pratt Fire Lt. Chad Van Slyke.
The department has had three calls recently where people were in the house and no smoke detectors were in the home or they were present but not working. Those are dangerous situations that the fire department wants to make sure do not happen again so the fire department decided to ramp up their smoke detector program, Van Slyke said.
The city fire department is making smoke detectors available free of charge to those who need them. Besides providing the smoke detectors for free, firefighters will make arrangements to go to the house and install the detectors for free, Kramer said.
Firefighters will demonstrate how to test the detectors, replace batteries and will come back to check on the detectors for free.
If a house has multiple levels, firefighters will make sure there is a detector on each level of the house to provide the protection necessary to alert a family that they need to get out of the house.
Besides homeowners, landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke detectors in their residential properties.
The smoke detectors will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the city fire station in the 200 block of South Jackson Street, Van Slyke said.
They can contact the fire station at 672-4600 or the truck drivers at 388-5070.
If someone misses the give away, they can contact either the city or county fire departments, Pratt Police or Pratt County EMS and they will know how to connect the person with the fire department to get a smoke detector.
The community is getting behind this free smoke detector initiative. Service organizations are donating the money to purchase the smoke detectors while retailers are offering the detectors at cost.
"It's really a community effort," Kramer said.
Firefighters encourage everyone that has smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly and replace the batteries on a regular basis.