Jacksonville Fire Talks New Smoke Alarm Law on Jan. 1

By Benjamin Cox on December 26, 2022 at 1:32pm

Homeowners in Illinois have a new law when it comes to buying a fire alarm on January 1st.

Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills says the General Assembly updated the law in 2017: “The state legislature, beginning the first of January 2023, has change the smoke detector law affecting residents within the State of Illinois. On the first, any smoke detector purchased in the State of Illinois must be a sealed unit that has a 10-year lifespan.”

Sills says there are a couple of reasons for the needed changes to the smoke detector law: “There are two reasons for [the changes]. One, the removal of batteries from smoke detectors has been an ongoing problem for a lot of years – people removing the batteries because, either, the detector is sounding or they need the battery for another device; so therefore, they have made it a sealed unit. The 10-year lifespan on that is also the recommendation for the overall lifespan of a smoke detector. Even if you have the older, battery replacement unit, it is still recommended that the smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years due to dirt, dust, and things like that which builds up in the unit causing it to be less sensitive.”

Sills says if you still have a good working battery-operated fire alarm, you don’t have to take it down and find a replacement on January 1st. He says that when you are ready to replace the unit, it will be with the new 10-year sealed battery units.

The law does have some exemptions for homes built after 1988 that already have hardwired smoke alarms and homes with wireless-integrated (Bluetooth linked) alarms.

Sills recommends that if you are in the market for a new fire alarm for your home, buy a combined carbon monoxide and fire detection unit.