Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide

Smoke Alarms

A properly maintained smoke alarm will work forever, right? Not so fast!

It's a Fact

All hardwired or battery-operated smoke alarms installed before May 2000 should be replaced now!

A smoke alarm's lifespan is 10 years, which means any smoke alarm installed before May 2000 is too old and needs to be replaced. The smoke alarm is no longer reliable. Part of smoke alarm maintenance include knowing when to replace the unit. The few minutes it takes to replace a smoke alarm can save the lives of roommates, family members, neighbors and firefighters.

More than 3,000 people die in home fires each year, and the majority of them have no working smoke alarms. To prevent these deaths, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) is sponsoring the nationwide "Install. Inspect. Protect." Campaign., which emphasizes that "Smoke Alarms Save Lives."

The USFA offers a few helpful tips on smoke alarms:
  • Every residence and place where people sleep should be equipped with both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual-sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home. Interconnected smoke alarms are best, because if one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly and change alkaline batteries at least once every year, or as instructed by the manufacturer. You can use a date you already know, like your birthday or when you change your clocks, as a reminder.
  • Write the installation date on the inside cover of the smoke alarm for future reference.

Carbon Monoxide

Is your home protected by Carbon Monoxide Detectors? On January 1, 2007, Public Act 94-0741 "The Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector Act" will go into effect. This bill requires every dwelling unit to be equipped with at least one UL listed or FM approved carbon monoxide alarm in an operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. The carbon monoxide alarms can be either battery powered, plug-in with battery back-up or wired into the structure's AC power line with secondary battery back-up. Carbon monoxide detectors are available for purchase at most hardware and home improvement stores.

It will be the responsibility of the owner of the structure to supply and install required alarms, provide written alarm testing, and maintenance information to the tenant and to insure all detectors are in proper working order at the time of initial possession. It will be the responsibility of the tenant to test and replace batteries, provide general maintenance for the alarm and to notify the owner, in writing, of any deficiencies they cannot correct.

The Village's Building Department will address this issue during "Change of Occupancy" inspections. The Fire Department will check for properly installed detectors when responding to calls. Homes that do not have an approved, working Carbon Monoxide Detector will be referred to the Fire Prevention Bureau for follow up.

A complete copy of the bill is available on the fire department's website. Anyone with questions can contact the fire department for further information.