A new law takes effect at the start of the year that will require new smoke alarms being installed in homes to be the kind that includes a sealed 10-year battery.
A public act passed in 2017 requires all homeowners to have a 10-year sealed battery smoke alarm beginning on Jan. 1, 2023.
“Basically, it says that the law says that any new smoke alarms that are being installed in a single or multi-family home are required to have 10-year sealed batteries,” said Galesburg Fire Chief Randy Hovind. He adds that all smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years of life.
The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance says the new smoke detectors will save money on replacing 9V and AA batteries and there’s no worry about late-night, low-battery chirps from older detectors.
There are two exemptions. Homes that have a hardwired smoke alarm or homes with a wireless integrated alarm using low-power radio frequencies, wi-fi, or other wireless LAN capabilities.
According to the Illinois Firefighters’ Association and the Fire Safety Alliance, said there were 97 house fire deaths in Illinois in 2021. And of those house fire deaths, nearly 70% were in homes without working smoke alarms.
They add that residents should install smoke alarms on every level and in every bedroom and that residents should test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they work.