Summary: Understand the Illinois smoke detector requirements.
What are the smoke detector requirements in Illinois?
Residential fire statistics in Illinois.
American Red Cross smoke detector program.
Fire detector requirements in Illinois
The new law would require smoke detectors to have a 10-year sealed battery. The requirement goes into effect on January 1, 2023. Within 90 days of receiving a citation, violators are fined $100 if they fail to comply. An additional $100 fine will be sent every 30 days up to a max of $1,500.
The new fire detectors will cost $15/unit, according to Illinois News Network. This is approximately three times the cost of the current fire/smoke detector models. However, because the batteries don’t need to be replaced, property owners should save $40-$50 over the lifetime of the unit in battery replacement costs.
Homes that have already upgraded to hardwired units, Wi-Fi, or low-powered radio frequency will have met the new requirements.
Residential Fire Deaths
The U.S. saw 1,319,500 fires in 2017 and 3,400 fire-related deaths. In Illinois, there were 106 home fire fatalities reported in 2018. Of those fire-related deaths, 73.3% were from a residential fire in Illinois.
Additionally, fire is the third-leading cause of death for children under fifteen years old.
How many smoke detectors are required for life safety?
The Illinois’ Smoke Detector Act requires a smoke detector within 15 feet of every sleeping room. Smoke detectors must be 4-6 inches from the wall if mounted to a ceiling. Smoke detectors need to be on every level of a home, except unoccupied attics.
Carbon monoxide detectors are also required within 15 feet of sleeping spaces
Smoke Detectors are the first line of defense for residential fires
F.E. Moran Fire Protection is partnering with the American Red Cross to bring smoke detectors to homes in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
F.E. Moran employees and other Red Cross volunteers will be canvassing neighborhoods to install smoke detectors, replace batteries, and complete fire safety checklists.
This program saved the life of Johnnie MaePannell. Volunteers installed smoke detectors in her home. Months later, at 3am, the smoke detector alerted her to a fire.
“I got in my wheelchair and got out of there,” MaePannell said.
The fire gutted the house. Red Cross volunteers helped get her back on her feet and installed smoke detectors in her daughter’s home.
The best way to prevent fire-related deaths is through smoke detectors. Illinois’ fire-related deaths can be greatly reduced through detection. With enough notice, residents can escape when a fire ignites in their home.
Oftentimes, the cost of a smoke detector is the reason a home doesn’t meet detection requirements. That is why the American Red Cross is providing smoke detectors to those who may not be able to afford them.
An additional issue is changing the battery. Elderly and handicapable people might not be able to reach the smoke detectors to replace batteries twice a year. The new Illinois smoke detector law that takes place in 2023 will alleviate this problem with 10-year batteries. In the meantime, the American Red Cross is changing smoke detector batteries for those who can’t.