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Firemen putting out bedroom fire.

Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety

Four ways to help your family be smart about fire safety

photo of Karchut Samson with a dog.Sheepdogs are known to be intelligent and are tasked with guarding flocks of sheep or herding livestock. But put that ball of fluff in a home-fire situation, and those instincts and skills are rendered useless.

"When my partner and I got our sheepdog, Samson, fire safety became extremely important to our family," said Stephen Karchut, Owner of Alarmtech, a home security in Ontario, Canada. "We were worried about what would happen to Samson if we were not home. We are extremely fortunate to have a monitored life-safety system that can call for help - since Samson cannot."

Each day, Karchut feels the reality that the average family is woefully unprepared for a house fire and strives to help prepare and protect his customers from, "the thief that takes everything."

The First Sign of Danger

One of the many ways to reduce the threat of a catastrophic fire or Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is to maintain and be educated about alarms and take measures to ensure you are ready in an emergency.

"Our client’s largest needs and wants revolve around life safety: they want their children or pets safe when left at home," said Karchut. "Life safety devices work when they are tested regularly, have sufficient battery power and are free of any obstructions."

Each year in October, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) hosts a Fire Prevention Week to educate families about fire safety and to help ensure the home and family is protected. This year the NFPA highlights the sounds of fire safety and encourages families to know the difference between a CO, smoke or low-battery alarm signal. 

Short beeps every 30 or 60 seconds signal a low battery. A continuous set of three loud beeps – beep, beep, beep – signals smoke or CO. The sounds can vary by alarm manufacturer.

Newer CO and smoke alarms feature voice, as opposed to a beeping or an alarm sound. Research* shows that a voice alarm can wake a child up to three times faster than a beeping sound. A combo smoke/CO detector that speaks the type of emergency gives you additional protection and allows for some extra time during an emergency.

Resideo's ProSeries platform offers wireless ProSIX combo (smoke/heat/CO) detectors that feature multilingual voice speaker with emergency notifications in case they detect fire, smoke or heat. "Our clients also really appreciate that Resideo’s CO and smoke sensors can talk to you, letting you know of an emergency. And they alert the home or business owner when it is time to replace the battery, it's time to clean, or time to replace the entire device," Karchut added.

Fire Safety Tips

"Fire safety education is paramount to keeping your family and pets safe, everyone must know how to get out safely, what to do in the event of a fire, and even more importantly, what not to do in the event of a fire," Karchut said.

Girl sleeping in the fire alarm equipped bedroom.

In addition to having a family escape plan and practicing it with all caregivers, sleeping with the bedroom doors closed, checking batteries in smoke and CO alarms, and taking steps to reduce the chances of a home fire, it’s vital to keep your children safe and informed about threats and sounds:

1. Know the sounds.

Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke and CO alarm and practice what to do when they hear the different alarms. Familiarize them with the sounds of a fire truck alarm and a police car or ambulance alarm and explain the vehicles’ separate roles in providing life safety.  

2. Cook safely.

Explain and follow safe cooking practices to avoid fire – such as never leave a cooktop while cooking, always turn the handles to your pans in, wear tightly rolled sleeves, and do a proper clean up after splattered grease or food messes.

3. Hide matches and lighters.

Keep matches and lighters in a secure location out of reach of children. Only use lighters that are child-resistant ― but be aware that many children will be able to operate them. Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school.

4. Respect heat sources.

Use flameless candles to remove the danger of your child knocking over a traditional candle. If your child likes to build forts, explain that using table and floor lamps as part of fort construction is off limits.

Start making a habit of teaching your kids about fire safety to help your family. Additional information about professionally monitored security solutions available at Resideo.com.

*Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital