New Illinois smoke alarm law set to take place in 2023

Starting next year Illinois homes and apartments will need to start replacing smoke detectors.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:36 PM CST
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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - Starting in 2023 Illinois homes and apartments will need a certain kind of smoke detector.

The 10-year sealed battery detector is now the preferred choice under a new state law. However, you will be given some time to make replacements.

“If they have smoke alarms currently in there, they are allowed to keep them in place until they are 10 years old or until they fail to respond to the self test or they otherwise malfunction,” Murphysboro Fire Chief Steve McBride explained.

He said a 10-year battery life will make smoke detectors safer and more reliable, as opposed to current detectors that require a new battery each year.

“So after January 1st, all new smoke detectors installed in single family or multi family have to be the type with the new 10-year sealed battery, unless they are hardwired into the building’s electrical system,” he said.

The building and fire inspector for the city of Carbondale, Brice Dion, said the law also impacts rental properties.

“What we’re looking for, especially in our rental and inspection program, is that there’s a functioning smoke detector in every apartment, every rental unit, every hotel room, everything where people can stay,” he said.

While doing inspections, he said they’ll often find that residents have turned off smoke detectors.

“I think that’s something a lot of people don’t know is that if you take your battery out of your smoke detector, you’re breaking the law. And if something happens in your home and you don’t have a functional smoke detector, then you’re liable. You’re putting yourself at risk not only with the risk of injury or death, but just the fact that you’re breaking the law,” he said.

Since 1988, all dwellings in Illinois have been required to have smoke alarms.

McBride said that his department gives out smoke detectors to lower income households.

“We get detectors from the Red Cross and you have to meet certain criteria, we don’t just give them out to everybody, we will install them in certain residences if people can’t afford to buy them. We don’t obviously have enough to give them out to everybody,” he explained.

According to the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, 3 out of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.