socastcmsRssStartBy Cole Lauterbach | Illinois News NetworksocastcmsRssEnd
As residents set their clocks back an hour this weekend, Illinois’ State Fire Marshal wants them to check on smoke alarms as well.
State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said daylight saving time should serve as a reminder to check not only clocks, but to test smoke alarms.
“Daylight saving time affects everyone so it’s a great reminder that twice a year we should be replacing the batteries in our smoke detectors,” he said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 in 5 home fire deaths that occurred between 2009 and 2013 were in homes that either did not have smoke alarms or the alarms did not work properly. In most cases, the batteries were either missing or disconnected.
Perez said a new law set to take effect in 2022 will require many homes in Illinois to have detectors that last years longer than their predecessors, with exceptions being homes with hard-wired smoke detectors, meaning most homes built since 1988 shouldn’t have to make a change. Homes with smoke detectors running on a low-powered radio frequency or wi-fi don’t have to comply.
Chicago residents also received a carve-out from the new law’s mandate.
Perez said the state is administering a new program that provides smoke alarms to residents through local fire departments. The local departments also help install them if necessary.
“By requiring that all Illinois households install ten-year smoke alarms, we help reduce the number of fire deaths caused by disconnected or missing batteries in smoke alarms,” Perez said.