“Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”
By PIO / Fire Prevention Officer Scot Best
October 2, 2021

The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years — to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “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.

“What do the sounds mean? Is there a beep or a chirp coming out of your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm? Knowing the difference can save you, your home, and your family,” said Lorraine Carli, vice-president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA.

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! 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 latest NFPA “Smoke Alarms in the U.S.” report, working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by more than half. However, almost three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent); missing or non-functional power sources, including missing or disconnected batteries, dead batteries, and disconnected hardwired alarms or other AC power issues, are the most common factors when smoke alarms fail to operate.

Ridge VFD wants to share safety tips to help you “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”
• Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm – three beeps for smoke alarms; four beeps for carbon monoxide alarms.
• When you hear a continuous set of loud “beeps”, get out immediately, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
• A single “chirp” every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
• 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 (smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years).
• Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly. Press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
• Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

We are hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”, including support at the Relay for Life walk, visits to local schools, and handouts and demonstrations and various RVFD fundraising events.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities, please contact us at 301-872-5571 or via our social media (www.facebook.com/RidgeVFD). For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention in general, visit www.fpw.org.