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SFM sharing tips on knowing the sounds of fire safety

State Fire Marshal
Posted at 9:25 AM, Oct 04, 2021

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office is sharing tips on how to "Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety" during National Fire Prevention Week.

From October 3 through October 9, the SFM and other fire agencies will publish tips to educate communities on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how they can save lives and property.

“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. When an alarm makes noise—a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action!” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning. “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, check the manufacturer’s instructions that came in the box, or search the brand and model online.”

According to the NFPA, home fires killed more than 2,700 people in the United States in 2019 and fire departments responded to almost 340,000 home fires. Of those deaths, 75 were Louisiana residents.

The SFM says that statistics from investigations conducted by their agency in 2019 show smoke alarms were found in only 20 of those homes. Only half located were confirmed to be in working order at the time of the fire.

In 2020, there were 77 fire-related deaths reported where about a dozen of those cases involved structures with working smoke alarms, they say.

Some of the main messages for this year's National Fire Prevention Week include:

  • A continuous set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • A continuous set of four loud beeps from a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Open windows and doors, get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • A single chirp every 30 to 60 seconds means the 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 CO alarms meet the needs of all of your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit

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