File Photo – Smoke Detector | Photo: Rigby40 via Pixabay

A new state law going into effect will require smoke alarms installed in Illinois homes after January 1 to have a ten-year sealed battery, officials said.

Public Act 100-0200 was passed by lawmakers in 2017 to update the Illinois Smoke Detector Act. The updates reflect “advances in technology.”

Beginning January 1, any new smoke alarm that is installed in a single or multi-family home will be required to have a 10-year sealed battery.

Smoke alarms that were installed in single or multi-family homes prior to January 1 may remain in place until they exceed 10 years of being manufactured or until they malfunction.

Exemptions to the law include homes built after 1988 that already have hardwired smoke alarms and homes with wireless integrated alarms that use low-power radio frequency communications, Wi-Fi or other Wireless Local Area Networking capability.

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All residences in the state have been required to have smoke alarms since 1988.

Many fire departments throughout the state offer residents free 10-year concealed battery smoke alarms through the “Be Alarmed!” program.

Senator Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove, said residents should test, inspect expiration dates, change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and replace any broken or expired devices.

“Functioning smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms have been proven to save lives,” Johnson said. “As winter approaches, now is the time to ensure that your CO and smoke alarms are operating properly.”

The National Fire Protection Association reports almost three out of every five home fire deaths in the United States resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.

“Fires can happen in the blink of an eye and result in abrupt, tragic loss,” Johnson said. “Proper preparation can be pertinent to survival and fire prevention.”