BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – A Bluffton man awoke to the piercing chirp of his smoke alarm 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning– his house was on fire.
“It was a ruled an electrical fire, but the main thing we want to make sure we get out is smoke alarms save lives,” said Randy Hunter with the Bluffton Township Fire District.
The man was able to grab his dog and get out, but with fire deaths hitting record numbers in South Carolina this year, this is a real wake up call.
“We all wanna make sure that we have our smoke alarms at least in every sleeping area and one on every level at the bare minimum,” said Hunter,”A lot of people think, ‘Ahh I’ll hear the fire, I’ll wake up, I’ll do this… ‘ but the thing is, when there’s a fire in your home, the smoke is what kills us and if you’re in a deep sleep, it’s just gonna keep you asleep.”
On average, only two out of every ten houses you drive by has working smoke detectors. Fire officials say test them once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
“Each smoke alarm has a little button on it, we know a lot of our houses have high ceilings, you can get a broom stick, you can get a step stool, get up, push the button, hold it in, and it will activate, and it will allow you to know that the battery is good in it,” Hunter said.
In addition, have an exit plan with at least to ways to get out.
“People always say, ‘Oh it’s my house, I know how to get out,’ but if you’re like me, I stub my toe in the dark in my own house all the time, and it’s where I live, can you imagine if there’s a fire, and smoke, and chaos? So we want to make sure we plan, plan, plan.” he said.
It could make all the difference.
“He was able to get his dog and make it out safely, out of the home,” Hunter said, “He did exactly what we try and get all of our community to do if there ever is a fire in your home. Hear the smoke alarm, get outside and then call 9-1-1.
If you need help installing smoke detectors or have questions, contact your local fire department.