News Flash

City News

Posted on: October 5, 2021

Learn the Sounds of Home Fire Safety with Your Family

Finger pressing button on smoke alarm

COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 5, 2021 – This year's Fire Prevention Week campaign is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,” to educate people about the sounds their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors make. 

During Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 3 to 9, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is reminding everyone that it's not just having these devices in your home that will assist you in case of a fire. Everyone in the home must know what their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors sound like, and what to do when they hear them. 

Smoke Alarms

Working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a house fire by 50%. Every home is required to have working smoke alarms and they should be installed on every level of the home and on the ceiling outside of sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should be tested once per month, and batteries should be replaced twice a year. If your smoke alarm is older than 10 years, it is time to replace it.

Smoke Alarm Sounds 

  • A continued set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, 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.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide, also known as the the silent killer, is an invisible, odorless, colourless gas that is created when fuels such as gasoline, natural gas, propane oil, wood, coal and methane burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide. If you have these appliances in your home, you should also have a carbon monoxide detector as a person can be poisoned by a small amount of carbon monoxide over a longer period of time, or by a large amount over a shorter amount of time.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Sounds

  • A continuous set of four loud beeps—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Go outside, call 9-1-1 and stay out.
  • A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be replaced
  • 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.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors also have “end of life” sounds that vary by manufacturer. 

General Fire Safety Tips

  • 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.

Tips for People with Physical Disabilities 

There are alarms and devices customized for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Research the different products and select the ones that fit the needs of the people in your home. For example:

  • When the smoke alarm sounds, strobe lights flash to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • A pillow or bed shaker should be used to wake and alert someone. This device is activated by the sound of a standard smoke alarm. 
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can be installed that use a low-frequency sound and may work better to wake a sleeping person who has mild to severe hearing loss.

For more information about fire prevention, contact the Fire Prevention Division at 604-927-6433 or visit www.coquitlam.ca/seasonalsafety

Media contact:
Bob Hieltjes
Assistant Fire Prevention Chief
firerescue@coquitlam.ca 
604-927-6400

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