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Palm Coast Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 1 week ago

‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,’ Flagler County Fire Rescue officials urge

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Residents are advised to replace smoke alarm batteries with the start and conclusion of Daylight Savings in the spring and fall.
by: Julie Murphy Flagler County Public Information Officer

The chirping of a smoke alarm can mean a couple of things – the obvious one being that actual smoke has been detected, but it could also be sending a warning that the batteries are low or the whole unit may need replacing if it’s more than 10 years old.

“This is why the National Fire Protection Association chose as its theme for Fire Prevention Week to ‘Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,’” said Flagler County Fire Rescue Chief Michael Tucker. “For 40 years, smoke alarms have played a role in reducing fire death rates, but we don’t want to be complacent.”

According to the latest National Fire Protection Association “Smoke Alarms in the U.S.” report, working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by more than half (55 percent). However, almost three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent) because of missing or non-functional power sources. The most common causes of smoke alarm failure includes: missing or disconnected batteries; dead batteries; and, disconnected hardwired alarms or other alternate current power issues. 

Typically residents are advised to replace smoke alarm batteries with the start and conclusion of Daylight Savings in the spring and fall. This year it ends on November 7.

“We have programs and services that we offer our residents,” said Fire Marshal Jerry Smith. “The ‘Battery Change Program,’ for example, is where you buy the batteries and Fire Rescue will supply the manpower to change them.”

Contact Fire Rescue at 386-313-4258 for more information, or to set up an appointment.

Key messages for “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” include:

  • When a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm sounds, respond immediately by exiting the home as quickly as possible.
  • If an alarm begins to chirp, it may mean that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. If the alarm continues to chirp after the batteries are replaced, or the alarm is more than 10 years old, it is time to replace the alarm.
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. Press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
  • If there is someone in the household who is deaf or hard of hearing, install bed shaker and strobe light alarms that will alert that person to fire.
  • Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm – three beeps for smoke alarms, four beeps for carbon monoxide alarms.

“Giving people the information they need to properly respond to sounding alarms – whether it’s an actual fire or simply time to change a battery – can make a life-saving difference,” Tucker said. “keeping people safe is why we are here.”

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