Smoke Detector Upkeep

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Real Estate

Smoke detectors are required by Illinois law to be within 15 feet of a bedroom and one on each floor level.  They are often overlooked, but they are one of the greatest lifesavers in the household.  We often forget about maintenance or testing them because they're typically out of the way on a wall or ceiling.  Below are pieces of information on smoke detector statistics that could change your perspective on this great asset (from the National Fire Protection Association).

  • Smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74 percent) of reported home fires in 2014–2018.

  • Almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent).

  • When smoke alarms were present in reported fires considered large enough to activate them, they operated in 89 percent of the fires, 73 percent of the deaths and 82 percent of the injuries.

  • The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55 percent lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.

  • When present, hardwired smoke alarms operated in 94 percent of the fires considered large enough to trigger a smoke alarm. Battery-powered alarms operated 82 percent of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends changing the batteries in your smoke alarms every 6 months. Swap out your smoke detector for a new one every 10 years.  Do your part in protecting your home and loved ones!