KMC Fire Emergency Services: Hear the beep where you sleep

by Master Sgt. Mark Goenen 86th Civil Engineer Squadron

Working smoke alarms can make a lifesaving difference in a fire. That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Hear the beep where you sleep.”

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, Kaiserslautern Military Community Fire Emergency Services is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week to remind residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home and testing them monthly.

“In a fire, you may only have one to two minutes to evacuate once your smoke alarm activates,” said Master Sgt. Mark Goenen, KMC Fire Emergency Services Fire Prevention superintendent. “Being able to hear the alarm and knowing what to do when you hear it are critical to survival.

According to the latest NFPA research, half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. Working smoke alarms significantly increase the likelihood of surviving a fire.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.

• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.

• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

• Some people, especially children and older adults, may need help to wake up. Make sure someone will wake them if the smoke alarm sounds.

KMC Fire Emergency Services will be conducting home fire safety visits and hosting activities, such as the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center static displays and school visits during Fire Prevention Week, to promote “Hear the beep where you sleep.”

Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of functional smoke alarms and testing them monthly and other fire safety topics.

The week will be highlighted by an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Fire Station 1 on Ramstein, Bldg. 2303. The event will include a live fire demonstration, fire truck displays, home fire safety discussions and a visit from Sparky, the fire dog.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in the KMC, contact the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Prevention team at 480-5940 or email

To learn more about smoke alarms and “Hear the beep where you sleep,” visit NFPA’s website at