Smoke Detectors

Updated Illinois Smoke Detector Law

Illinois has updated its smoke detector law effective January 1, 2023. Starting on that date, any new smoke detector installed within a single or multi-family home is required to be an alarm that features a 10-year sealed battery. 

Where does this apply? In any structure which contains a dwelling unit, including, but not limited to hotels, apartments, single family residences, and multi-family residences.

What is wrong with my old battery powered detector? Over time, the components contained in detectors degrade making the detector less sensitive to detecting smoke.  This places the resident at an increased risk of the detector not operating early enough or not operating at all.

When does my detector need to be replaced? When it is 10 or more years old and/or when it fails to respond to operability test or it otherwise malfunctions.  Look on the back of your smoke detector for the expiration date. This law also applies to any detectors that are newly installed.

Are any detectors exempt from this requirement? Yes. Any detector that is hardwired to a power source AND has an alternative back up power source such as a 9-volt battery or emergency generator.  

It is important to note that if your home was built to the proper code on or after January 1, 2011 the smoke alarms in your home meet the alternate back up power source requirements.

Read the entire Illinois Smoke Detector Law.

Smoke Detector Location In The Home

A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Put smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.

Place smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the best place for your alarm.

Only qualified electricians should install hardwired smoke alarms.

Disposal Of An Old Smoke Detector

Although the replaceable 9-volt battery in the old detectors can be recycled, the actual smoke detector cannot be recycled. The smoke detector should be placed in the regular household garbage.