TDCI, SFMO Remind Tennesseans to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” During Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9

Working Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives During Emergencies
Wednesday, September 29, 2021 | 11:48am

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) are joining fire departments across the Volunteer State to raise awareness about Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 3-9) and this year’s campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.”

The annual national campaign, which is created by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), educates Americans about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe when it comes to home fires or the dangers of carbon monoxide.

“It is vitally important that consumers learn the different sounds made by smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said TDCI Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Carter Lawrence. “When an alarm makes noise—such as a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action. 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, the SFMO recommends consumers check the alarm manufacturer’s instructions or search the brand and model online.

“Working smoke alarms can save the lives of homeowners, allowing them to safely escape a home fire,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary Farley. “When homeowners can safely escape a home fire, it reduces the risks that firefighters and first responders might encounter at the scene of a fire. I encourage all homeowners to check their homes’ smoke alarms or CO detectors to ensure they are in good working order.” Through the SFMO’s “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” smoke alarm program, Tennessee homeowners can request a free smoke alarm through a participating fire department. Since the program began in 2012, over 254,000 smoke alarms have been distributed to partnering organizations and the lives of over 320 Tennesseans have been saved by smoke alarms installed through the “Get Alarmed” program.

To help further support this year’s theme, the SFMO is holding a smoke alarm canvass on Saturday, Oct. 2 in Hendersonville with local partners. Additionally, the SFMO’s annual poster contest will focus on the “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety" theme. To raise awareness about the SFMO’s overall mission, TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary Farley has a new blog post available here.

As part of Fire Prevention Week, consumers are urged to remember:

  • A continuous 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 alarm’s 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 carbon monoxide (CO) alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
  • Install working smoke alarms inside and outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
  • Conduct family fire drills. Make sure everyone living in the house knows two ways out of every room.