‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety’ during National Fire Prevention Week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The National Fire Protection Agency has deemed October 3-9, 2021 as National Fire Prevention Week across the United States. This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” which aims to educate our communities about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how they save lives and property.


“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When an alarm makes noise—a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action!” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning. “Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the alarms and knows how to respond. To learn the sounds of your specific smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, check the manufacturer’s instructions that came in the box, or search the brand and model online.”


According to the NFPA, home fires killed more than 2,700 people in the United States in 2019, and fire departments responded to almost 340,000 home fires. Of those deaths, 75 were Louisiana residents. Statistics from investigations conducted by the State Fire Marshal’s Office that year show smoke alarms were found in only 20 of those homes, however, only half located were confirmed to be in working order at the time of the fire. In 2020, there were 77 fire-related deaths reported where about a dozen of those cases involved structures with working smoke alarms.


Over the next few days, the SFM, along with your local fire departments and districts, will be publishing various tips in relation to this year’s theme through a variety of graphics, pictures and videos as well as a chalk art challenge for the educational community! These will be shared via social media platforms and also through community events and presentations that the fire service is excited to bring back following COVID-19’s limitations last year. Those will range from school and senior community visits to fire station open houses and parades.


Some of the main messages include:


  • A continuous set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • A continuous set of four loud beeps from a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Open windows and doors, get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • A single chirp every 30 to 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.
  • Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all of your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.


For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.