The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has deemed October 3-9, 2021 as National
Fire Prevention Week across the U.S. This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” which aims to
educate our communities about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how they save lives and
“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When an alarm
makes noise—a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action!” said State Fire Marshal H.
“Butch” Browning. “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.”
According to the NFPA, home fires killed more than 2,700 people in the United States in 2019 and fire
departments responded to almost 340,000 home fires. Of those deaths, 75 were Louisiana residents.
Statistics from investigations conducted by the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) that year show smoke
alarms were found in only 20 of those homes, however, only half located were confirmed to be in working
order at the time of the fire. In 2020, there were 77 fire-related deaths reported where about a dozen of
those cases involved structures with working smoke alarms.
Over the next few days, the SFM, along with your local fire departments and districts, will be publishing
various tips in relation to this year’s theme through a variety of graphics, pictures and videos as well as a
chalk art challenge for the educational community! These will be shared via social media platforms and
also through community events and presentations that the fire service is excited to bring back following
COVID-19’s limitations last year. Those will range from school and senior community visits to fire station
open houses and parades.
Some of the main messages include:
• A continuous set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1,
and stay out.
• A continuous set of four loud beeps from a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm—beep, beep, beep,
beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Open windows and doors, get out, call 9-1-1,
and stay out.
• A single chirp every 30 to 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.
• Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all of your family members, including
those with sensory or physical disabilities.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.firepreventionweek.org