State Fire Marshal reminds residents to check their smoke alarms

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Northern Star Staff

DeKALB — Between 2012 to 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. Dead batteries accounted for 25% of smoke alarm failures, according to the National Fire Protection Association reports.

State Fire Marshal Matt Perez recommends everyone to test all smoke alarms in their homes while changing your clocks for daylight saving time, according to a Wednesday news release.

“The time change serves as a bi-annual reminder to test all smoke and CO alarms in your home,” Perez said in the release. “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.”

In 2019, 89% of the fire alarms inspected by the “Be Alarmed!” program were found to be nonfunctional.

“Be Alarmed!” is a fire safety education and smoke alarm installation program  by the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, designed to help Illinois residents with the 2017 law that requires ten-year sealed smoke alarms be installed in all homes that do not have hardwired smoke detectors by Jan. 1, 2023.