"People with young children, people that are older, people that are impoverished -- the fact is smoke alarms save lives and they reduce suffering," said Chief John McGrath, Raleigh Fire Department.
Fire destroyed an Apex home last February, but the people who were sleeping inside escaped safely thanks to a smoke detector.
Two weeks before the fire,the home had no smoke detectors. The one it had at the time of the fire was installed by firefighters for free as a part of Operaqtion Save A Life.
"Two lives were saved because of this program, so it's always gratifying when you hear stories like that," said John Idler, ABC11 president and general manager. "Kidde's been terrific. To date they've donated over 90,000 smoke detectors."
All of the devices, which are given to fire departments throughout the area, provide a critical margin of safety.
It's especially important now when many cities and towns struggle with a fiscal crisis.
ABC11 reminds residents to get an alarm and make sure it has fresh batteries.
"We have a program in Rocky Mount where we'll come by and put batteries in for you," said Rocky Mount Deputy Fire Marshal Robbie Tate.
To receive a free smoke detector, check with your local fire station.