"Something as simple as replacing batteries in smoke alarms as we
set our clocks forward for the spring season can make a difference
between life and death," said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis.
"If batteries are dead, replace them immediately. Smoke alarms
should be installed on every floor of the home and within 15 feet of
On Sunday, residents will set their clocks one
hour forward, from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Parents and adults should
replace smoke alarm batteries the night before and encourage
children and teens to know the proper procedures if the smoke alarm
Last year in Illinois, out of more than 17,000 fire-related
incidents, in 800 of those, smoke alarms failed to operate.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost
two-thirds of home fire deaths nationwide resulted from fires in
homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
It is imperative for residents to have properly placed and
working smoke alarms installed in their homes. Smoke alarm batteries
must be checked monthly and replaced twice a year. The Office of the
State Fire Marshal emphasizes that the biannual time changes are
good reminders to replace smoke alarm batteries.
The following information provides additional tips for smoke
alarm installation and maintenance:
According to the
Illinois Smoke Detector Act, smoke alarms should be installed
within 15 feet of all sleeping areas, with at least one on each
For residents who
have hard-wired smoke alarms, there must be a battery backup in
case of a power outage.
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hearing-impaired family members, consider installing an alarm
that combines flashing lights with sound.
Mount smoke alarms
high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises).
Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least six inches
away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be
installed four to six inches away from the ceiling.
smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts where drafts might
interfere with their operation.
Never paint smoke alarms. Paint,
stickers or other decorations could interfere with the alarm's
ability to sound.
For more information about fire safety and prevention, contact
your local fire department or visit
Office of the State Fire
received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]