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Residents encouraged to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!TM” during Fire Prevention Week

HAMILTON, ON – Fire Prevention Week runs from October 3-9, 2021. In keeping with this year’s theme - “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!™” - the Hamilton Fire Department is urging residents to test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly, learn the different sounds they make, and know what to do when an alarm sounds.

By law, every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. Too often, fatal fires occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.

Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!™

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make different sounds.
    • A beeping sound means there is an emergency and you should leave the house, call 9-1-1 and stay out.
    • A chirping sound means the batteries or alarms should be replaced immediately.
  • Testing alarms also produces a beep. Replace the batteries if the alarms do not sound when the test button is pushed. If the alarms still don’t sound, replace the alarms.
  • When an alarm makes noise – whether it’s a beeping sound or a chirping sound –take action. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will help to keep your family, home and community safe.
  • 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.

To raise awareness about the importance of fire safety, residents are encouraged residents to participate in the “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!TM” Scavenger Hunt from October 2-11, 2021. Participants must complete eight missions at one of nine locations across the city to be entered into a draw for the chance to win a fire safety-themed prize. For full content details and rules, visit

“Knowing the different sounds your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make can save you, your loved ones, and your home. Test your alarms every month to learn the sound they make and to ensure the batteries work. If your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms sound in an emergency, get everyone out of the home. If your alarms chirp, replace the batteries or alarms immediately.” - David R. (Dave) Cunliffe, Fire Chief, Hamilton Fire Department

Quick facts

  • From January 1 – September 29, 2021 the Hamilton Fire Department responded to 176 residential structure fires, a 47 per cent increase over the same time period last year. In 2020, the Department responded to 168 residential structure fires.
  • The top causes of residential structure fires are careless smoking, unattended cooking and electrical.
  • The Hamilton Fire Department’s Alarmed and Ready Program provides the in-home replacement of batteries or full installation smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarms to eligible homeowners, free of charge.
  • Tampering with or removing the batteries from your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code can result in a ticket of $360 or a fine of up to $50,000. 

Additional resources
Alarmed and Ready Program
VIDEO: A message from the Fire Chief