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As Fire Prevention Week continues, Dover Fire and Rescue reminds residents to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”


Dover Fire and Rescue is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” This year’s campaign, which continues through Oct. 9,  works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. 


“What do the sounds mean? Is there a beep or a chirp coming out of your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm? Knowing the difference can save you, your home, and your family,” said Lorraine Carli, vice-president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA.


Dover Fire and Rescue encourages all residents to embrace the 2021 Fire Prevention Week theme.


“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said Dover Fire Chief Paul Haas. “When an alarm makes noise—a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action. 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.”


Haas said a response this week by Dover Fire and Rescue stresses the importance of recognizing the sounds of fire safety. He explained that crews were called to a home where a fire alarm had been activated. The resident reported no visible smoke or fire in the home. Upon arriving, fire crews quickly determined that a vehicle was running in the garage and carbon monoxide levels were registering at dangerous levels. The home and garage required significant ventilation to return CO levels to normal.


"Had the resident not heard the alarm, this situation could have been tragic," Haas said, adding the incident is also an example of the importance of CO detectors.


Dover Fire and Rescue wants to share safety tips to help you “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”


  • A continuous 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 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
  • 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.
  • Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.


Dover Fire and Rescue is committed to fire safety year round. In addition to Fire Prevention Week, Dover Fire and Rescue organizes many fire safety events and messages throughout the community, including the annual Fire Safety Festival, held at the city’s elementary schools, as well as Portsmouth Christian Academy and St. Mary Academy. Past festivals can be seen online at


Due to the pandemic, Dover Fire and Rescue this year organized a virtual fire safety academy for the city’s elementary students. Current episodes of the Dover Fire and Rescue Online Learning Academy can be viewed here:


For more information about fire safety or Fire Prevention Week, contact Dover Fire and Rescue at 603-516-6148.