The Washington Township Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign of “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” This year’s campaign, October 3-9th, works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
“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 WT Fire Chief Alec O’Connell “Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the alarms and knows how to respond.”
Here are some tips to help you “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”
- A continuous 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.
- Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
What if someone in my home is deaf or hard of hearing?
There are smoke alarms and alert devices that alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices include strobe lights that flash to alert people when the smoke alarm sounds. Pillow or bed shakers designed to work with your smoke alarm also can be purchased and installed
Frequently Asked Questions about smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms
What’s the difference between smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms? Why do I need both?
Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. In the event of fire, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely, which is why smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement). Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can render you unconscious before you even realize something is happening to you. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you so you can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check your home.
How do I know which smoke and CO alarm to choose for my home?
Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection. Whether you select a unit that requires yearly changing of batteries, or a 10-year unit that you change out at the end of the 10 years, either will provide protection.
CO alarms also have a battery backup. Choose one that is listed with a testing laboratory. For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.