The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is asking Illinoisans to take a few minutes this weekend to change and test the batteries in their smoke alarms while setting their clocks back an hour. Clocks fall back an hour for Daylight Saving Time this Sunday, November 4.
“Daylight Saving Time is a great built-in reminder for us all to check that our smoke alarms are working in case of an emergency,” said State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that between 2009 and 2013, three in five home fire deaths occurred in homes that either did not have smoke alarms or the alarms did not work properly. The batteries were either missing or disconnected in about half the homes that did have smoke alarms when the fire broke out.
A new Illinois law requires a ten-year smoke alarm be installed in all homes that do not have hardwired smoke detectors by the year 2022.
“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. “Our joint effort “Be Alarmed” program is equipped with these ten-year detectors and can aid Illinois residents with installation and ensuring they are in compliance with this new law.”
“Be Alarmed!" is a fire safety education and smoke alarm installation program administered cooperatively between the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM). This program provides smoke alarms to Illinois residents through their local fire departments and can aid with obtaining and installing these newly required alarms. Smoke alarms are required on every floor of the house and within 15 feet of every bedroom.
For more information on our “Be Alarmed” program, fire safety and prevention, please visit OSFM’s website.