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Need help installing a car seat? Call your local fire department

Most public safety departments have staff members certified in car seat installation and inspection.

IRMO, S.C. — After questions popped up in the Irmo Community about car seats, Street Squad decided to pay Irmo’s Fire Marshall Brian Haley a visit to talk all things car seats.

“We are in a coalition with Safe Kids," says Haley, "Safe Kids has several car seat check stations in the Midlands. Many fire departments, many police stations. If you have any questions about car seats- if your car seat is installed right, if you’re worried about having the right car seat for your child, or the size of your child, call the local public service department, police department, fire department, and see if they have somebody there who can help you out.”

Haley told us that it's very important to make sure the car seat you are using isn't second-hand or was ever used in a wreck. If you were ever in a wreck with your car seat, call your insurance agency and they should replace it. Also, make sure to send in your car seat registration form to make sure there are no recalls on your specific seat. 

“Sitting backwards in the backseat is safest, sitting in the backseat is safest," Haley says, "so you can imagine when you’re talking about your most precious child, being in the back seat of your car, you want them restrained as well as possible. Make sure they’re restrained properly.”

Haley says a well-adjusted and installed car seat can be all the difference in a car wreck, "I have been on several car wrecks where the car has overturned and the child was perfectly fine because they were perfectly restrained in the back seat of a car.”

If you need help with your seat or want to make sure you installed it correctly, call and set up an appointment with the certified car-seat expert in your area. 

“Nobody charges for this," Haley says, "we do ask for some information just for tracking purposes. Please, if you have any questions whatsoever, call your local police department or your local fire department, make an appointment, and run by and make sure that your child is seated correctly.”

If you’d like to get your car seat inspected or installed, there is a free event Saturday at the IceHouse Amphitheater in Lexington from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for anyone to attend.