Clocks “spring ahead” on March 8
information provided by the Office of the State Fire Marshal
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (March 5, 2020) – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds Illinoisans to test and replace the batteries in their smoke alarms as daylight saving time begins this weekend and they turn their clocks forward one hour.
“The time change serves as a bi-annual reminder to test all smoke and CO alarms in your home,” says State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “If you find an alarm that is not working or is expired, replace the alarm immediately. Review your fire escape plan with your family, and hold a drill to practice your plan.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that between 2012 and 2016, almost three out of every five home fire deaths in the U.S. resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. The chances of dying in a home fire was reduced by 54% in homes were working smoke alarms are present. In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Dead batteries accounted for 25% of smoke alarm failures. In 2019 in Illinois, 89% of pre-existing smoke alarms being replaced in homes that received the new 10-year sealed battery alarms through the “Be Alarmed!” program was found to be non-functional or were expired.
A 2017 Illinois law requires 10-year sealed smoke alarms be installed by January 1, 2023, in all homes built before 1988 or built without hardwired smoke detectors.
“Participating fire departments in 2019 installed 4,948 10-year sealed smoke alarms in Illinois homes. There are now over 1,600 homes in Illinois protected and 3,700 residents educated on smoke alarm maintenance, home fire safety and home fire escape plans,” says state Fire Marshal Perez. “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”