2021 was the 99th year of Fire Prevention Week and the theme was "Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!" The uncertainty in the past years in the face of COVID-19 led to remote learning across the world. A common happening was the awareness of beeping in the background of student homes and the realization that these were sounds made by smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. Any type of sound made by these detectors is cause for alarm and quick action!
• A continued set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
• A single “chirp” every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed. • All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years. • Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced.
CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) ALARMS
• A continuous set of four loud beeps—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Go outside, call 9-1-1 and stay out.
• A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be replaced.
• CO alarms also have “end of life” sounds that vary by manufacturer. This means it’s time to get a new CO alarm.
• Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced.
ACTION #1 Make the first Saturday of each month “Smoke Alarm Saturday”! A working smoke alarm will clue you in that there is a fire and you need to escape. Fire moves fast. You and your family could have only minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds.
ACTION #2 Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year! Having a home fire escape plan will make sure everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds so they can get out safely.
When You Hear a Beep, Get On Your Feet!
Get out and stay out. Call 9-1-1 from your outside meeting place.
Hear a Chirp, Make a Change!
A chirping alarm needs attention. Replace the batteries or the entire alarm if it is older than 10 years old. If you don’t remember how old it is, replace it.