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Hundreds In SF Get Smoke Alarm Inspections

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More than 100 volunteers, fire fighters, and members of the American Red Cross spent their Sat. knocking on 15 hundred doors in one Sioux Falls neighborhood.

"Sixty two percent of the people that die in house fires is a direct resuly of not having a working smoke alarm," said Sioux Falls Red Cross Community Exec. Officer, Tony Burke.

That's why the Sioux Falls Fire Dept. is teaming up with the American Red Cross and dozens of volunteers to make sure everyone is prepared.

The groups went door-to-door in the Sioux Falls Whittier neighborhood, offering to inspect, install, or replace smoke alarms.

"There's no question that people are wondering what are these folks doing?" said Burke.

Not everyone is willing to let them in, but Burke says it's worth a shot.

"The ideal goal or objective would be to save lives," said Burke.

Every so often, someone does welcome them.

"To be able to get into the community, get into the home, and have some really good conversation at the grassroots level," said Burke.

Conversations not only about smoke alarms, but overall preparedness.

"Just bringing that awareness up that we can do it now, and we're here to help," said Burke.

He says this isn't just about helping people today.

"Two years from now, if there's a fire in one of these homes that we've installed the smoke alarm, and the people got out, then we know we've made a difference," said Burke.

A big difference made wtih something as small as a smoke alarm.

Burke says the Whittier neighborhood was chosen based on the Fire Dept.'s statistics that show a high concentration of fires in the area.

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