SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Chief Steven Pinch and the Union Fire District of South Kingstown urge all residents to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” and to follow several basic tips to help protect their loved ones during Fire Prevention Week, which is being recognized this year from Oct. 3 to 9.
Fire Prevention Week is organized by the National Fire Protection Association, and has been recognized for over 90 years. The goal of Fire Prevention Week is to educate the public about simple but important ways they can keep themselves and those they live with safe.
This year’s theme of “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” focuses on beeps, chirps and other noises coming from your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and how knowing what they mean could save your life.
“Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are important lifesaving devices that need to be properly maintained,” Chief Pinch said. “Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to check the batteries in your alarms and familiarize yourself with the different sounds they make and what to do when these alarms go off.”
Chief Pinch urges everyone to recognize these common sounds to help you and your family better understand smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- 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.
Residents can also consider buying an alarm with a 10-year sealed battery. These alarms have the benefit of not needing to have their batteries replaced for the life of the alarm, and reduce the late-night chirps associated with common alarms. Having the alarm and battery share the same 10-year lifespan makes it easier to remember when the unit needs to be replaced.
The Union Fire District also recommends that smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities. The NFPA offers the following tips for those who are deaf or hard of hearing:
- Purchase smoke and CO alarms that include strobe lights that flash to alert people when the smoke alarm sounds.
- Pillow or bed shakers can also be purchased and linked to smoke and CO alarms to awaken people from their sleep. These work by shaking the pillow or bed when the alarm sounds.
- The use of a low-frequency alarm can also wake a sleeping person with mild to severe hearing loss.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, click here.