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New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services reminds residents to Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety

Spotlight on: Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week
New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services is holding some pop-up fire prevention events this year instead of its annual Fire Prevention Week open house at the fire hall.

What’s happening?

The City of New Westminster has proclaimed Oct. 3 to 9 as Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety, which focuses on recognizing the different sounds smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make – and what to do when an alarm sounds.

What is planned in New West?

Normally, New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services hosts its annual open house at the Glenbrook Fire Hall during Fire Prevention Week.

Assistant Deputy Chief Erin Williams said that’s not happening this year because of COVID-19 concerns and construction of the new aquatic centre on the adjacent site.

Instead, New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services will be doing some pop up events at locations around the city. But rather than competing with Thanksgiving, the New West fire department will be held next weekend.

On Friday, Oct. 15, you’ll find local firefighters at Royal City Centre and on Saturday, Oct. 16, they’ll be in the parking lot at Queensborough Landing from 9 a.m. to noon and at River Market from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

What’s Fire Prevention Week 2021 all about?

New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association, which has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign. This year’s theme aims to educate people about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Lorraine Carli, vice-president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA, said that knowing the difference between the beeps and chirps coming out of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms can save you, your family and your home.

“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said Christie Bruce, a fire educator with New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services. “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 and signals of the alarms and knows how to respond.”

To learn about the specific smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home, Bruce said residents should check the manufacturer’s instructions that came in the box, or search the brand and model online.

Beeps and chirps?

New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services is sharing a few 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 and carbon monoxide 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 carbon monoxide alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

Did someone say prizes?

The Office of the Fire Commissioner, First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, BC Burn Fund and Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of BC are hosting a fire and burn prevention contest that gives students a chance to win prizes.

Details on the contest, including deadlines, rules and prizes, can be found at

More info, please:

You can find out more about local fire prevention initiatives, go to and search for Public Safety under the Services tab. More information about Fire Prevention Week can be found at

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus