Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Local Teens Launch “Fix The Beep” Fire Safety Program

Fix The Beep founders Dylan Foley and Rowan Carney are shown here donating fire safety kits to A Sense of Home, a non-profit that helps former foster youth. (Image from Fix The Beep)


Local teens Dylan Foley and Rowan Carney have launched a fire safety education program for kids called “Fix The Beep.” Inspired by observations from teachers during the pandemic who heard smoke alarms beeping in the backgrounds of many of their students’ homes during online school sessions, the teens, best friends since they were born, decided to start a fire safety education program targeted to kids to address this noisy and potentially very dangerous problem.

It turns out many residents, largely apartment dwellers, aren’t aware that the annoying beeping coming from the smoke alarm can be easily turned off with a replacement battery. Not only does it “fix the beep,” it also protects the occupants by providing a functioning smoke detector instead of one whose battery has run down.

“We have found that many homes in Los Angeles lack working fire alarms because many people are busy with competing priorities, do not know their rights as tenants, or do not have the access or tools to switch out the batteries or maintain their fire alarms,” wrote Foley and Carney in a letter shared with the Buzz by Foley’s mom, Jennifer.

“This is a common fire hazard, yet can easily be fixed with awareness, education and resources. This problem first came to us when we saw a thank-you video to a teacher was interrupted many times by the beeping of fire alarms in the background of the students’ video clips. After digging into it, we discovered the issue was everywhere in Los Angeles. Our mission is to empower kids and young adults to impact fire safety in their homes,” wrote Foley and Carney.

Like Foley and Carney, we were surprised to learn this was a problem too. But, according to Captain Frank Larez at our local Fire Station 29, it’s definitely a real problem.

“We get 911 calls and it turns out it’s just a smoke detector,” Larez told the Buzz. “If we have a battery, we will change it for people or we’ll take down the device to stop the noise and tell them they have to get a battery.”

“We are shocked that people get used to the noise, but they do,” added Larez. “We have run education programs in the past, but sometimes it’s hard for us go out there and do that, so we were really thrilled they are doing this and kids are not afraid to ask questions and try to fix things.”

According to Larez, most of the calls come from apartment dwellers who may not be aware that they can call their landlord or change the battery themselves. As a result, Foley and Carney are targeting their program to schools with students who may live in apartments nearby and for newly emancipated foster youth who are living on their own for the first time.  The girls received a grant from the Center for Early Education, where Dylan attended elementary school, to kick start their effort this summer.

According to the founders, Fix The Beep‘s goals are twofold:


1) “Our goal is to create fire safety kits for foster children who age out of the system and need to move in to their own dwellings as young adults. We would have two types of batteries, a battery tester, and a pamphlet on fire safety, as well as how to detect a faulty alarm. In addition we will be creating an educational video on how to assess these issues.”

2) Beyond this project, Dylan and Rowan have already established connections with Larchmont Charter School and John Burroughs Middle School to get student representatives from each school to start a fire safety club. “It will include a demonstration kit that consists of a fire alarm, battery tester, 9-volt battery, AA batteries and informational pamphlets in Spanish and English for ongoing use.”


Foley’s parents are hosting a fundraiser Sunday, September 26 from 1:30-3:30pm at their home at 453 South Las Palmas Avenue in Hancock Park, where Flower Truck LA will be selling flowers from local farmers and donating a percentage of the sales to Fix The Beep.



“If you are unable to attend, we would love for you to check out their website and help with kit donations. Each kit is $15. Even if you donated one kit for Fix The Beep you are raising awareness for fire safety and helping our community. If you would like to donate more, each safety instruction box is $25. This comes with a fire alarm, safety pamphlets, magnets with QR code to the website and batteries. As parents, we have watched the girls plan, learn and assemble infrastructure to help their community. For kids, by kids. We have guided them on the way, but the website, pamphlets, video, etc has all been designed by them,” wrote Jenny and Mike Foley in a letter to neighbors and friends inviting them to stop by on Sunday.


Fix the Beep Kits. Funds raised at the Sunday event will help the teens donate kits to local schools.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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