The Sacramento City Fire Department posted a dramatic public service announcement to social media this week, urging everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes.
The video, seen here, is a reenactment mean to stress the importance of smoke alarms.
Three recent fires in homes and apartments without working smoke alarms prompted the fire department to create the video.
"It's a very inexpensive insurance policy for the biggest investment that you'll ever have, which is really your life," department spokesperson Roberto Padilla said.
Padilla says a $15 smoke detector could save a life. He hopes the recent fires serve as a wake-up call.
"We want to get the message out, that when you're neglectful like that and you're doing it on purpose, not only are you risking your family's life you're risking your neighbors life and the first responders that are coming," Padilla said.
On Dec. 11, an elderly couple was killed when flames broke out in their south Sacramento home on Jacks Lane.
Firefighters tried to rescue Thomas and Louise Yin, but it was too late.
"That was so horrible because they were really really sweet neighbors all the time she used to go to China and bring me gifts," neighbor Elsie DiMaggio said.
Firefighters say the home lacked working smoke detectors.
Less than a week later were two more fires in buildings without smoke alarms.
The first, a house fire in South Sacramento where a dog named buddy woke up his owner and saved his life.
Then an apartment fire in Del Paso Heights which left several units damaged.
Everyone is urged to check their smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries every six months.
Placement is also important.
"You've got to have one in each room, its got to be operating its got to be working," Padilla said.
Sacramento city fire department is giving away 100 donated smoke detectors.
Anyone in need can pick one up at a fire house on a first come first serve basis.