This year's Fire Prevention Week is focusing on information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, including when to replace them and the sounds they make. Photo courtesy City of Campbell River.

Sounding the alarm on fire safety

This year’s Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3 to 9, focusing on fire alarms awareness

Keeping a working fire alarm is vital to fire prevention — and knowing what each sound one produces helps in an emergency.

Fire Prevention Week, from Oct. 3 to 9, works to educate everyone about simple actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. The Campbell River Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to promote this year’s campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.”

“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When an alarm makes a noise – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action!” said Thomas Doherty, fire chief, in a press release.

“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.”

The fire department is sharing several tips to help residents “Learn the Sound of Fire Safety,” focused on alarms.

Knowing which sound means what is important. A continuous set of three loud beeps — “beep, beep, beep” — means smoke or fire. In this case, get out, call 9-1-1 and stay out.

But just a single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed. Batteries should be changed once a year.

All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years. Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means that the alarm unit must be replaced. Smoke and carbon dioxide alarms should meet the needs of all family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit