The Lompoc Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 95 years, to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.

From beeps to chirps, this year’s campaign works to educate the public about the sounds smoke alarms make, what those sounds mean, and how to respond to them.

According to the latest NFPA report, working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by more than half. However, almost three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent).

Missing or non-functional power sources, including missing or disconnected batteries, dead batteries, and disconnected hardwired alarms or other AC power issues, are the most common factors when smoke alarms fail to operate.

This year’s Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety theme helps people better understand the reasons smoke alarms may sound, and provides the know-how to effectively address them.

Key messages include:

• When a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm sounds, respond immediately by exiting the home as quickly as possible.
• If your alarm begins to chirp, it may mean that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. If the alarm continues to chirp after the batteries are replaced, or the alarm is more than 10 years old, it is time to replace the alarm.
• Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly. Press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
• If there is someone in your household who is deaf or hard of hearing, install bed shaker and strobe light alarms that will alert that person to fire.
• Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm – three beeps for smoke alarms; four beeps for carbon monoxide alarms.

The Lompoc Fire Department annual open house event has been canceled to observe social distancing guidelines, but Lompoc firefighters still want our community to be safe.