This year, when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time (DST), there is something new to check for. Illinois’ updated Smoke Alarm Law, which went into effect on January 1, 2023, requires that all single or multi-family homes install smoke alarms with 10-year sealed batteries. The law replaces smoke alarms with removable batteries or those that are not hardwired. As a result, the annual DST campaign message has changed from “Change your clocks, change your smoke alarms” to replace alarms with the new technology once they are past their manufactured date.

The Importance of the New Smoke Alarm Law

The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance worked with the Illinois General Assembly to pass the new law. The law reflects the latest advances in alarm technology and ties closely with Camp I Am Me's core mission to educate the public about fire and burn prevention. The National Fire Prevention Association has reported that three of every five home fire deaths in the U.S. result from non-working smoke detectors. In Illinois, 70% of the 97 fire deaths that occurred in 2021 were due to non-working smoke detectors.

Kevin Visel

Exceptions to the New Law

Homes with smoke alarms installed before January 1, 2023, that have not exceeded their manufactured date, and homes built after 1988 that have alarms that are hardwired or utilize wireless integrated alarms, are not required to have the sealed-battery alarms.

Why the New Technology is More Reliable

Modern technology has provided us with a more reliable way to alert us to home fires and save lives. The cost of the 10-year sealed battery alarms is typically under $20 and actually saves money because batteries do not need to be replaced over their ten-year life cycle. When it is time to replace them, an alert sounds, letting the residents know.

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Maximizing Protection in the Home

For maximum protection in the home, smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside of each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

Changing your clocks for DST is an excellent reminder to check your smoke alarms. The new Illinois Smoke Alarm Law requires that residents replace smoke alarms that have removable batteries, or those that are not hardwired, with a 10-year sealed alarm once they are past their manufactured date. The new technology provides a more reliable way to alert us to home fires and save lives. For more information, visit this website.

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