|CHANGE YOUR CLOCK, CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES|
|By Member Ed St. Louis|
|March 11, 2019|
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds the public to test the batteries in their smoke alarms as they set their clocks forward for daylight savings time.
“Daylight savings time is a built-in reminder to ensure your smoke alarms are working properly,” said State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Parents can use this opportunity to teach children how to recognize the sound of a smoke alarm and practice their home escape plan”.
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 2017 Illinois law requires ten-year smoke alarms be installed in all homes that do not have hardwired smoke detectors by January 1, 2023.
“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 ten-year, concealed battery 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.