BAXTER SPRINGS - It could happen in an instant. No matter how cautious and prepared a person is, there are some things that just can't be predicted. Proper planning, however, can keep an accident from turning into a tragedy.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), working smoke alarms are the key to saving lives from fire. Fire can grow and spread through a home in a matter of minutes. The advance warning provided by smoke alarms can be essential to saving lives.

Three years ago, in September 2014, the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal implemented a statewide residential smoke alarm installation program as a fire prevention effort. The Baxter Springs Fire Department is now proud to be taking part in the "Get Alarmed Kansas" campaign. The initiative allows trained volunteers to install smoke alarms in owner-occupied homes free of charge.

The Baxter Fire Department announced on Aug. 23 that they would provide free smoke detectors to home owners who do not have working smoke detectors in their homes, or replace ones that are older than 10 years. The main target is homes with young children and people over the age of 65. They also have smoke detectors for the hearing impaired.

"Simply contact us and we will set up a time for installation by one of our firefighters," read a statement from the department. "Our first shipment should arrive in the next couple weeks and we are able to continue ordering after we install what is sent to us and the completion forms are turned in. So please be patient we will be able to get detectors for anyone who needs them it just may take some time."

According to Kansas Statute 31-162, smoke detectors must be provided by landlord, so the firefighters will be unable to install smoke detectors in rental properties.

For any further information, or to set up a time to have some installed feel free to call 856-3536, or fill out an online request here: https://goo.gl/forms/MhhSg66Y71shUi3A3