A new state law that goes into effect Jan. 1 requires all homes to have smoke detectors with a 10-year sealed battery life or a hardwired system.
The Rockford Fire Department and the Illinois Firefighters Association held a news conference on Wednesday to draw attention to the law and urge property owners to make the necessary changes now. The sealed-battery smoke alarms are considered more reliable than previous technology, where 9-volt batteries could run out of power or be removed by owners while cooking who then forget to replace them.
“We do know that smoke alarms save lives, only when they work,” said Matt Knott, Rockford Fire Department division chief. “A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by up to 50%.”