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When you hear a smoke alarm, get outside and stay outside

Learn Not to Burn preschool lesson 2Smoke alarms save lives. Every home needs smoke alarms. Most smoke alarms make a "beep, beep, beep" sound. Between each set of three beeps is a slight pause – "beep, beep, beep, pause, beep, beep, beep, pause" and so on. Some smoke alarms have a speaking voice or allow for a family member to record her or his voice in addition to the "beep beep beep". Smoke alarms for people with disabilities may have a different tone, flashing lights, or a shaker under the bed pillow.

Children must understand when a smoke alarm sounds or "beeps", they should go outside immediately with the rest of the family. Young children are often frightened by strange, loud noises. They may freeze, hide, or respond in other inappropriate ways that could endanger their safety. Becoming familiar with the sound of a smoke alarm and knowing how to react to the sound is important for children.

In this lesson, each child will be able to:

  • identify the sounds of a smoke alarm.
  • leave the building safely and remain outside at the sound of an alarm.

Download the lesson. (PDF, 8 MB)

Download sound clips for the lesson (MP3 files)

Download the "Smoke Alarm Song" (mp3, 963 KB).

Download the "Do You Have a Smoke Alarm?" (mp3, 1.6 MB) song.

More information for parents and teachers can be found on the NFPA Safety Tip Sheets: Smoke alarms and Smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.