As winter approaches, the Office of the State Fire Marshal is asking Illinoisans to take a few minutes this weekend to change and test the batteries in their smoke alarms while setting their clocks back an hour.
Clocks fall back an hour for daylight saving time this Sunday, going from 1:59 a.m. to 1 a.m.
“Daylight saving time is a great built-in reminder for us all to check that our smoke alarms are working in case of an emergency,” State Fire Marshal Matt Perez said in a news release.
The National Fire Protection Association 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.
“By requiring that all Illinois households install 10-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 10-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 and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.
This program provides 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 the “Be Alarmed” program, fire safety and prevention, visit www2.illinois.gov/sites/sfm/Pages/default.aspx.