State Fire Marshal reminds residents to replace smoke alarm batteries

Illinois residents should spring forward to change their fire alarm batteries and set their clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time.

Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said the time change serves as a bi-annual reminder for all residents to test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms inside their homes, according to a news release.

"If you find an alarm that is not working or is expired, replace the alarm immediately," he said in the release." Review your fire-escape plan with your family and hold a drill to practice your plan."

According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2012 to 2016, almost three of every five home fire deaths happened in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that didn't work. The chance of dying in a home fire was reduced by 54% in homes with working smoke alarms, the release states. In house fires where smoke alarms were present but did not work, more than two of every five of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnectected batteries, the release states. Dead batteries accounted for 25% of smoke alarm failures, the release states.

State law requires 10-year sealed smoke alarms be installed in all homes built before 1988 or that do not have hardwired smoke detectors by Jan. 1, 2023.

"Replacing broken or expired alarms not only helps to create a fire-safe home, but working alarms provide early warning, helping prevent loss of life due to fire," Perez said.