Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 3-9, 2021, and this year's theme is "Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety." The National Fire Protection Association and Iowa City Fire Department are encouraging the community to know about the various noises smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make and what they mean.

Smoke Alarms
  • A continued set of three loud beeps - beep, beep, beep - means smoke or fire. Get out, call 911, 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. 

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • A continuous set of four loud beeps - beep, beep, beep, beep - means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Go outside, call 911, and stay out.
  • A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be replaced.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms have "end of life" sounds that vary by manufacturer. Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the unit must be replaced.

Tips for people with disabilities

The National Fire Protection Association reminds the community to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meet the needs of everyone in your home, including people with sensory or physical disabilities. Their tips include:

  • Install a bedside alert device that responds to the sound of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Use of a low frequency alarm can also wake a sleeping person with mild to severe hearing loss.
  • Sleep with your mobility device, glasses, and phone close to your bed. 
  • Keep pathways like hallways lit with night lights and free from clutter to make sure everyone can get out safely.

Fire Prevention Week is also a good time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, plan the escape route from your home in the event of a fire, and practice a home fire drill. 

The National Fire Protection Agency has recognized Fire Prevention Week since 1922. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance. Fire Prevention Week is observed annually during the week of Oct. 9 in recognition of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871 and killed more than 250 people while also damaging more than 17,400 structures.

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague declared Oct. 3-9, 2021 to be Fire Prevention Week. You can read the proclamation here.

Date of publication

Friday, October 01, 2021

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