Town of Canmore

Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week 2021 (Oct. 3 - 9)

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. It is important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

This year’s FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action.

What is your alarm telling you?

Does your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm beep or chirp? Knowing the difference can save you, your home, and your family. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and knows how to respond.

Find out what your alarm sounds like by checking the user guide or searching online for the make and model.

Smoke Alarms

  • Click here to learn how to install your smoke alarm.
  • A continued set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
  • A single “chirp” every 30 to 60 seconds means either:
    • the battery is low and needs to be replaced
    • the alarm has reached the end of its life, or
    • the alarm is not working properly, and the entire unit needs to be replaced.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
  • Smoke alarms save lives! To learn how to properly test your smoke alarm, click here.

Carbon Monoxide

  • A continuous set of four loud beeps—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Go outside, call 9-1-1 and stay out.
  • 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.
  • You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide gas. Inhaling it can cause serious illness or death, so it is important to protect yourself and your family by having carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
  • Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of everyone in your home, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

    For more information on carbon monoxide, the symptoms of exposure, and how to install and maintain alarms, please click here.

Helpful tips:

  • Install a bedside alert device that responds to the sound of the smoke and CO alarms. The use of a low-frequency alarm can also wake a sleeping person with mild to severe hearing loss.
  • Keep your mobility device, glasses and phone close to you while you sleep.
  • Keep pathways like hallways lit with night lights and free from clutter to make sure everyone can get out safely.

What if I, or someone in my family is hard of hearing?

Not everyone can rely on audible smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, but assistive equipment is available to help people feel and see the signs of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These devices use a combination of strobe lights and vibration devices called “bed or pillow” shakers to alert people of an emergency. When using these alarms, remember that if you “see the flash and feel the vibration” get out, contact 911 and stay out.

Fire Prevention Week (FPW) (


What’s the difference between smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms? Why do I need both?
Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. In the event of fire, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely, which is why smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement). Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can render you unconscious before you even realize something is happening to you. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you so you can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check your home.
How do I know which smoke and CO alarm to choose for my home?
Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection. Whether you select a unit that requires yearly changing of batteries, or a 10-year unit that you change out at the end of the 10 years, either will provide protection.

CO alarms also have a battery backup. Choose one that is listed with a testing laboratory. For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.

Other Fire Prevention Information

Kitchen Safety Tips
·  Have a home fire extinguisher, store it in an accessible place, and know how to use it.
·  Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
· If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan.
·  Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 1 metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. 
·  To prevent overheating and ignition of cooking oil, fry foods in a temperature-controlled deep-fat fryer or skillet designed for a maximum temperature of 200 °C.
·  Use back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk of pots being knocked over.
·  Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, and other items that can burn, away from your stovetop.
·  In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat, and keep the door closed.
·  If a fire starts in the microwave oven, leave the door closed, turn it off, and unplug it from the wall. Get out and call 9-1-1.

If you have a fire in your kitchen and your initial attempts to smother the flames do not work, leave your home, and call 9-1-1.
Smoke Alarms 
·  Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. 
·  Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
·  Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
·  Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
·  Have an escape plan. 
What is Fire Prevention Week?
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.


Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Tip Sheet

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Wesley First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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