JEROME, Idaho (KLIX) – When a house fire starts, so does the clock to get out.

In an effort to increase safety, Jerome firefighters have partnered with other community members this Saturday to install about 100 smoke alarms in homes that do not currently have one. Two neighborhoods – Majestic Meadows and D&D mobile home subdivisions – will receive alarms as will homes in other locations throughout the county.

“You have only about two minutes or less to get out of a house fire,” said Tom Hughes, fire chief with the Jerome Fire Department. “On average about seven people a day die in home fires – that’s more than all natural disasters combined.”

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Many things can cause a house fire; among them is smoking and unattended cooking. Statistically, he said, those who die in house fires are typically under 15 years or older than 65 years, but flames do not play favorites and so anyone in a blazing home is at risk.

“It’s a race against the clock to get people out of a home fire,” he said. “And then when the firefighters arrive it’s a race against time to put out the fire.”

He said homes – which have a mix of wood, furniture and other materials – feed flames quickly, making it a life or death situation for the occupants. Time is of the essence, you have to move and get out!

Having an escape plan is important and, if you have a gas stove or furnace, so is having carbon monoxide detectors in the home, especially near the bedrooms.

“We’re hoping to get into at least 100 homes on Saturday,” Hughes said, but noting if someone would like a smoke alarm installed after Saturday you can still request one. The alarms are free and provided by the American Red Cross – all you have to do is ask for one.

Visit Getasmokealarm.org or call the fire department at 324-2323, ext. 6.

If you’d like to volunteer on Saturday – there are several ways you can help, Hughes said – visit this event page. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the fire station, 142 East Ave. A.