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National Fire Prevention Weeks returns with reminder on importance of alarms

The chance of death during a fire decreases 55 percent in homes with working smoke detectors.
Students encouraged to create fire safety plan during Campus Fire Safety Month
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Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 7:16 AM CDT
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(KSLA) — The 99th annual National Fire Prevention Week is back until Oct. 9 to emphasize the importance of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

This year’s theme, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,” aims to help educate the public on the differing sounds these alarms emit during emergencies.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five fire-related deaths occurred in structures that had no detector or that had an alarm that failed to operate.

In fact, the chance of death during a fire decreases by 55% in homes with working smoke detectors.

Carbon monoxide, meanwhile, is a silent killer. The odorless and colorless gas could result in fatal effects before an individual even knows they are exposed. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide include headache, nausea and dizziness. Get to fresh air immediately if exposure is sensed.

That’s why making sure these alarms are functioning properly could result in saving lives, rather than tragedy.

Here’s how to differentiate between a smoke and carbon monoxide detector:

Smoke detectors:

  • A continuous set of three loud beeps means smoke or fire is detected
    • Get out, stay out and call 911
  • A single beep every 30 to 60 seconds means a battery is low and needs to be changed
  • Beeping that continues after a battery is replaced means a new unit is required
  • Smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years

The Shreveport Fire Department will replace smoke detectors and provide necessary batteries, free of charge.

Carbon monoxide detectors:

  • A continuous set of four loud beeps means the gas is detected
    • Get out, stay out and call 911
  • A single beep every 30 to 60 seconds means a battery is low and needs to be changed
  • Beeping that continues after replacing a battery means a new unit is required

The NFPA also recommends making sure hallways are lit with nightlights during the evening and are free of clutter, so a path out of a home or apartment during an emergency is clear.

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