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Virginia Beach firefighters share safety tips ahead of Fire Prevention Week

State Farm insurance agent Theresa Tumber is working with the Virginia Beach Fire Department to share the importance of learning fire safety sounds.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Author's Note: The above video is on file from Aug. 15, 2021.

Fire Prevention Week is approaching and this year firefighters want to inform people of simple safety tips.

Insurance agent Theresa Tumber from State Farm is working with the Virginia Beach Fire Department for Fire Prevention Week that will be held from Oct. 3-9. The campaign is called "Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety."

Crews want to highlight the importance of taking the proper steps of staying safe during a fire and that includes listening out for specific sounds.

“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 Jessica Xenakis from the Virginia Beach Fire Department. 

Xenakis added, “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.”

Here are the tips for learning the sounds of fire safety:

  • Listen for continuous loud beeps in sets of three, "beep, beep, beep!" That means there's smoke or flames. You should evacuate and call 911.
  • Listen for a chirp every 30 or 60 seconds. It means the battery is low and needs to be changed.
  • Replace your smoke alarm if you've had it for at least 10 years.
  • If the battery continues to chirp after replacement, it means the entire alarm unit needs to be replaced.
  • Remember that your smoke and CO alarms should meet everyone's needs in the home, including those with disabilities.

For more information on fire safety and prevention, please visit the Fire Prevention Week website.


Author's Note: The video below is on file from Oct. 9, 2017.