In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy.

Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls. This year’s Fire Prevention Week, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” will run Oct. 3-9.

This year’s theme works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe according to nfpa.org.

So what is your alarms telling you?

With smoke alarms:

• A continued set of three loud beeps 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.

With carbon monoxide alarms:

• A continuous set of four loud beeps 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.

The purpose of Fire Prevention Week is to bring awareness to the risk of death in case of a fire and provide educational resources in order to keep everyone safe.

So remember “Hear a beep get on your feet,” or “Hear a chirp, make a change.”

For more information go to nfpa.org.

 

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