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Illinois Fire Marshal uses time change to remind residents to check smoke detectors

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State fire officials are using this weekend’s time change to remind Illinois residents to think about home fire safety.

Illinois State Fire Marshal spokesman JC Fultz said this weekend is the time to make sure every smoke detector in your home is working properly.

“This is a built-in reminder twice a year that it is important to change the batteries in our smoke detectors every six months.’ Fultz said, “If you have a sealed 10-year smoke detector, go ahead and test that as well.”

Fultz said smoke detectors are the first line of defense when it comes to getting out of the house during a fire. He said with newer construction using a lot of synthetic building materials, public safety officials are “noticing that the time that you have to escape your home is drastically reduced.”

By 2023, all smoked detectors in all Illinois homes built before 1988, or without a hardwired smoke detector, will be required to be the 10-year sealed alarms. Fultz said people who already have that type should use the test button to make sure the alarm is working.

Older smoke detectors need to be replaced. Fultz said it’s important to remember the average lifespan of a smoke detector is about ten years. He said smoke detectors older than a decade should be replaced, preferably with a sealed 10-year smoke detector.

Three out of every five fire deaths happen in homes that either don’t have a smoke detector or have one that doesn’t work, Fultz said.

Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.