Haldimand Fire Department reminds residents to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”

By Haldimand Press Staff

The Haldimand Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years – to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” This year’s campaign, October 3-9, 2021,  works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.  

“What do the sounds mean? Is there a beep or a chirp coming out of your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm? Knowing the difference can save you, your home, and your family,” said Lorraine Carli, Vice-President of outreach and advocacy at NFPA. 

 The Haldimand Fire Department encourages all residents to embrace the 2021 Fire Prevention Week theme.

“The last couple years when teachers were doing online learning, the teachers would actually hear beeping and sounds from smoke alarms that the kids were ignoring and parents were ignoring,” explained Ron Schweitzer, Public Education Officer with Haldimand Fire Services, on how this year’s theme was chosen. “Some of them actually called the fire department to check.” 

Schweitzer raised concerns that some families don’t know what it really means when their alarms beep or chirp. He added, “The one that really worries me is the chirping. If the detector is no longer operating properly, even if you have a fire or CO alarm chirping it may never detect a problem because it’s out of date.”

He urged families to take down alarms to check the manufacturer’s date and replace the alarms when needed, along with testing the alarms regularly. 

Haldimand Fire Department wants to share the following safety tips to help you “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”:

A continuous set of three loud beeps – beep, beep, beep – means smoke or fire. A continuous set of four loud beeps – beep, beep, beep, beep – means carbon monoxide is present. In both situations, get out, call 911, 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.

Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

Local fire stations will be hosting meet and greet events at the Hagersville and Caledonia Home Hardware stores on October 9. The department will also be promoting the importance of learning the sounds of safety in a distanced way.

“We are having some stations get out to promote it,” said Schweitzer. He noted that stations with available space may set up displays for public viewing. “We are going to go door to door on station nights placing door knocker information on people’s doors in the communities. We are getting out and trying to make ourselves presentable to everybody.” 

Additionally, Schweitzer said that any member of the public is welcome to reach out for more information: “If people have questions, they can email or call us. We can come to their home and inspect the house and detectors for them to make sure everything is good.”

Those interested in additional information from Haldimand Fire Department can email emergencyservices@haldimandcounty.on.ca, or call 905-318-5932. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention in general, visit fpw.org.

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