September 11, 2018

Media Advisory – New Illinois Smoke Detector Law

Fire safety and public health officials will discuss a new state law that requires smoke detectors with a 10-year sealed battery be installed in all dwellings built before 1988 or which do not already have hardwired smoke detectors.

The news conference is at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Center International Lounge, which is located on the second floor adjacent to the auditorium.

Presenters will include:

  • Chief Mike Hertz, Carbondale Fire Department.
  • Phil Zaleski, executive director, Illinois Fire Safety Alliance.
  • Sarah Patrick, administrator, Jackson County Health Department.
  • Robert McDermott, professor and interim chair, Public Health and Recreation Professions, SIU Carbondale.
  • Lindsay Laycoax and Peter Renz, public safety management instructors, School of Architecture, SIU Carbondale.
  • Margaret Vaughn, Illinois Firefighters Association/ Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Government Affairs director.

In 2017, there were 114 residential fire deaths in Illinois and there have been 90 fatalities so far in 2018. The Illinois General Assembly passed a law to address this issue by requiring Illinois residents to replace their old smoke detectors over the next few years with the type that use a long-term, 10-year sealed battery.

Since 1988, the Illinois Smoke Detector Act has required all dwellings to have smoke detectors. The new requirement updates the law to reflect changes in new technology aimed at saving lives, while making it easier and more cost effective for Illinois residents to comply.

First Alert is donating installation kids and alarms to the Carbondale Fire Department, who can assist local residents with installations.

For more information, contact the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance at 847-390-0911.

Media contact: Margaret Vaughn, Illinois Firefighters Association/Illinois Fire Safety Alliance at or 217-280-0206.