From beeps to chirps, Chestermere Fire Services will be educating the public this week about the sounds smoke alarms make, what those sounds mean, and how to respond to them.
October 3 to 9 is Fire Prevention Week and the theme for 2021 is ‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.’ Annual themes are chosen by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week.
“Community members are encouraged to tune in to the City’s social media channels this week for videos, resources, information and some activities for kids that will help with overall fire safety education in Chestermere,” says City of Chestermere Firefighter, Jake Gallinger.
Gallinger adds that, true to the 2021 theme, most resources will focus on fire and carbon monoxide alarms and how to install, use and replace them. There will also be resources shared about alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
According to a recent NFPA report, working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of death in a fire by more than half. Almost three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms (41 per cent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 per cent).
“The most common factors for smoke alarms failing to operate are usually missing or non-functional power sources, including missing or disconnected batteries, dead batteries, or other power issues,” adds Gallinger. “Sometimes when an alarm starts to chirp due to low battery warnings, people will remove the batteries entirely or disassemble the alarm, and that is very dangerous.”
Chestermere Fire Services recommends that all residents have working smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors on every level of their home outside each sleeping area. They can be battery operated or hard-wired so that if one of them goes off, they all will.
“Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested monthly and the batteries should be replaced once each year,” says Gallinger. “Smoke alarms should also have an expiry date on them, or a manufacturer sticker that indicates when they are due to be replaced, as most detectors only have a 7-10-year life cycle.”
Gallinger adds that when a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm sounds, residents should respond immediately by exiting the home as quickly as possible.
For additional tools and resources visit the City of Chestermere’s Fire safety programs webpage at https://www.chestermere.ca/459/Fire-Safety-Programs or visit https://www.nfpa.org/fpw.
Information for the community will also be shared from Oct. 3 – 9 on the City’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and using #FirePreventionWeek.