With National Fire Prevention Week 2021 just days away, NOW is the time for area residents to learn the varying sounds that can come from smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.
The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week Campaign is ‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,’ as recognizing the sounds coming from an alarm can mean life or death in the event of a property fire or CO leak. Among the sounds that residents should know is the one that comes when an alarm needs a new battery (a chirping sound).
“Every citizen needs to invest the time to know these noises,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Too often in cases of fatal fires properties involved either don’t have any smoke alarms at all or the alarms present may not have been working properly. Taking the time to obtain smoke alarms and test them frequently can go a long way in protecting your life and the lives of those you care about.”
According to recent studies from the National Fire Protection Association almost three out of every five home fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16%). Furthermore, the same studies showed that when working smoke alarms are present an individual is 50% less likely to die in a property fire.
Here are some key points to remember when it comes to smoke and CO alarms in your home or business:
- When an alarm sounds, respond IMMEDIATELY by exiting the property as quickly as possible.
- If your alarm begins to chirp, it may mean that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. If the alarm continues to chirp after the batteries are replaced — or the alarm is more than 10 years old — it is time to replace the alarm.
- Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly! Press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
- If there is someone in your household who is deaf or hard of hearing, install a bed shaker and strobe light alarms that will alert that person to fire.