During Fire Prevention Week, Township deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson urges people to learn about the different sounds a smoke alarm makes so they know when it’s an emergency. (Bruce Ferguson/Special to The Star)

During Fire Prevention Week, Township deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson urges people to learn about the different sounds a smoke alarm makes so they know when it’s an emergency. (Bruce Ferguson/Special to The Star)

Fire Prevention Week teaching Langley residents the sounds of safety

With the spike in COVID cases, the Aldergrove fire hall has cancelled Fire Prevention Week events.

This week marks Fire Prevention Week, and officials are making some noise, in hopes of saving lives.

Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3 to 9, aims to educate people about the simple, but important things they can do to keep themselves safe from fire and this year’s education centres on sound.

The theme is Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety. Knowing the different sounds that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make will keep people safe.

  • When there is smoke in a home, the alarm will beep three times in a loud, repeating pattern
  • When there is carbon monoxide in the air, the alarm will beep four times in a loud, repeating pattern
  • When home alarms start to chirp, it’s time to change the batteries

The biggest difference between a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is that, smoke has a strong smell where as, carbon monoxide is odorless.

“When people smell smoke, they know to evacuate right away, but carbon monoxide doesn’t have a smell, that’s why having detectors are important,” said Township deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson.

In event of a fire, people have approximately two minutes to escape safely which, is why there should be a smoke alarm on every level of a home, placed inside or outside of all sleeping areas.

People can make sure their smoke alarms works by testing them each month and replacing the ones that have been in the home for 10 years or more. Smoke detectors, whether hardwired or battery operated, have a set lifespan. Batteries should be replaced annually, such as during Fire Prevention Week.

Detectors, both smoke and carbon monoxide, that go off frequently can become a source of frustration. Ferguson noted that when people take the batteries out of their alarms to silence them, they are endangering themselves.

“People should never take the batteries out of their alarms, that defeats the whole purpose. If your [smoke] alarm is in your kitchen and goes off when your cooking, don’t take it out, just reinstall it somewhere else,” he said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in the body and brain, and can render a person unconscious before they even realize something is happening. Without vital oxygen, a person are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert residents so they can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check the home.

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It's
#FirePreventionWeek2021.
This year’s campaign, works to educate everyone on the different sounds
smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm
sounds is key for safety. Find out more about the sounds you need to
know at https://t.co/SM8vUXJsE1
pic.twitter.com/uJmAH02UQz


Township of Langley (@LangleyTownship) October
4, 2021

In past years, local fire halls hosted an open house for Fire Prevention Week, where kids and adults could learn about fire prevention, tour the fire trucks, see firefighter demonstrations, and have some snacks.

Russ Jenkins, deputy fire chief at the Aldergrove fire hall, said even though there isn’t an open house this year, it’s still important to spread the message about Fire Prevention Week.

“At this point with the spike in COVID cases, I’m not sure when we are opening again, but even if people can’t come to the fire hall event, it’s important to know fire safety,” said Jenkins.

Unfortunately this year, the open house has been canceled due to COVID but people can learn more about the sounds of fire safety online at the Township website.

RELATED: VIDEO: Families flock to fire prevention event in Langley City

RELATED: Fire Prevention Week across B.C.

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