Every spring, fire safety experts along with the nonprofit Illinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) reminds residents about the life-saving habit of checking their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms when setting their clocks forward for daylight saving time.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that 81% of battery-operated smoke alarms which failed to operate in home fires had missing, disconnected, or dead batteries. To combat these alarming statistics, the IFSA worked with the Illinois General Assembly to update a law to address this horrific problem, by requiring residents to replace their old smoke alarms with the type that has a long-term, 10-year sealed battery by the end of this year. This would apply to residents that are still using alarms with removable batteries or alarms that are not hardwired.
“Since 1988, the Illinois Smoke Detector Act has required all dwellings to have smoke alarms, the new requirement just updates the law to reflect the changes in new technology, aimed at saving lives, while making it easier and more cost effective for Illinois residents to comply, said IFSA President & Barrington-Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Jim Kreher.
“With a 10-year battery alarm, there is no need for battery replacement; saving the average homeowner between $40-$60 in battery costs over the life of each alarm. At the end of the life cycle, the smoke alarm will automatically alert the homeowner to replace the alarm,” said IFSA Executive Director Philip Zaleski. “They are very affordable with the current retail price around $15 per unit.”
“People don’t realize how quickly a fire can turn deadly and how important escape time is. Installing new 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms helps families stay protected, with the most advanced sensing technologies and safety features available,” Kreher added.
The exemptions to the updated law include homes built after 1988 that already have hardwired smoke alarms and homes with wireless integrated alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
To learn more about protecting your family from smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide, visit the Resources page.