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story.lead_photo.caption The dome at the Missouri Capitol is seen illuminated in red Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, as a reminder of Fire Prevention Week. (Julie Smith/News Tribune photo)

Beep. Chirp.

Those are the two sounds fire and carbon monoxide alarms make and what the Jefferson City Fire Department wants people to recognize.

The department is part of the National Fire Protection Association's efforts to promote Fire Prevention Week. This year's campaign is "Learn the sounds of fire safety."

The week foccuses on educating people about how to prevent and prepare for a fire.

The theme puts a focus on knowing what the different sounds a fire alarm makes and what they mean.

For instance, a continuous set of three deeps means there's smoke or fire and to get out of the building. A chirping every 30 to 60 seconds means the detector needs a new battery and if the chirping continues after changing it then the detector needs replaced.

Fire Chief Matt Schofield said a fire detector going off will be three beeps whereas a carbon monoxide alarm would be four beeps.

"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," JCFD Division Chief Jason Turner said. "Make sure everyone in the home recognizes the sounds those alarms make and knows how to respond. To learn the sounds of your specific smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, check the manufacturer's instructions that came with them or search the brand and model online."

Schofield said during the course of October, firefighters will visit elementary schools and other interested groups to discuss fire prevention steps.

For instance, the department has a prop fire extinguisher to help teach people how to use one if they need to.

"It's more complicated than you think," he said.

This is the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which Schofield said inspired the first Fire Prevention Week.

The fire ran through Chicago from Oct. 8-10, killing an estimated 300 people and causing an estimated $200 million in damages, according to the History Channel.

Based on legend, the fire started after a cow kicked over a lantern, but the true cause of the fire remains unknown.

Schofield said any organization interested in a fire prevention presentation can contact the fire department at 573-634-6401.

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