Sometimes it’s a beep, or is it a chirp? Does that mean the batteries need to be changed, or is there a fire or is it carbon monoxide? Knowing what the different sounds mean can save your life. For fire Prevention Week, the National Fire Protection Association created a video to help you “Learn the Sounds of Safety.”

In addition to the sounds, it’s also important to ensure your smoke alarms have been installed correctly and that they’re working:

  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Test alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced.
  • Include at least two ways to exit every room of your home in your escape plan.
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark, where everyone knows to meet.
  • Tailor your escape plan to everyone’s needs in your household. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, install strobe light and bed-shaker alarms to help alert you to a fire.

If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the American Red Cross may be able to help.

History note:
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.