December is a popular month for house fires. The National Fire Protection Association says lots of things increase the risk of fire during the holidays including heating, decorations, winter storms and candles. It's the reason why firefighters in the state are hoping you're doing everything to stay safe the season including making sure your home has a working smoke alarm.

Don't think you can survive without an alarm

Firefighters say when you go to sleep so does your nose so you won't be able to smell a fire. Working smoke alarms saves lives. In fact association officials say a smoke alarm cuts your risk of death by half. If you live in the city and can't afford an alarm contact the Yakima Fire Department.

The department can help with a free alarm if you qualify

The department has a special smoke alarm program in which they install alarms free of charge. The program is reserved for Yakima residents who can't "physically or financially do so for themselves."
Fire officials say they can't replace any "hard wired" smoke alarms. Check the information at the Yakima Fire Department website;

"PLEASE NOTE: Smoke alarms are donated and therefore reserved for citizens in the City of Yakima limits that meet certain criteria. This questionnaire will help us determine if we can assist you .
IF YOU RENT YOUR HOME: If you rent your home or room, please review your renters agreement to determine the responsibility of ensuring there is a working smoke alarm in your residence. There are Washington State RCW's that have legal requirements for providing working smoke alarm(s) and carbon monoxide alarms in your residence. "

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