Knowing what to do when you hear an alarm go off will help keep you and your family safe.
When You Hear a Beep, Get On Your Feet
In a fire, seconds count! Immediately recognizing and responding to the sounds your smoke alarm makes gives you a chance to escape. If your smoke alarm is making a continued set of three loud beeps — BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! — it’s time to get out, stay out and call 911.
Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, and so reacting quickly to a possible leak is imperative to keep your household healthy and safe. A continuous set of four loud beeps — BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! — means carbon monoxide is present in your home, so get out, stay out and call 911.
Ready to take the next step and start developing your home escape plan? Get the NFPA’s Family Home Safety Action Plan resource.
What if the alarm is going off mistakenly?
Remember, if you hear a chirp — make a change! We know a constantly beeping or overly sensitive alarm can get annoying really quickly. But removing the battery (even “for just a little bit”) should NEVER be your first instinct because it leaves you and your family vulnerable.
A chirping alarm needs attention, and likely a new battery. To avoid any headaches, make a habit of testing your smoke alarm batteries monthly. Replace the batteries every six months, and replace the entire alarm every 10 years. If you’re not sure how old your unit is, replace it.
Interpreting your smoke alarm:
- A single “chirp” every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
- 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. All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
Interpreting your carbon monoxide detector:
- A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be replaced.
- CO alarms also have “end of life” sounds that vary by manufacturer. This means it’s time to get a new CO alarm. 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.
Still having problems? Contact CCFR and we’ll be happy to help you troubleshoot!