Fire officials launch ‘Be Alarmed’ program

Local News

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Smoke alarms can save your life and they only cost around $20, but still, many go without them.

That’s why the State Fire Marshal announced plans to get more longer lasting smoke detectors in homes across the state.

Instead of passing out fire alarms to people officials are going a step further. Firefighters will personally install new long lasting batteries into homes, that way they can make sure the job is done.

It’s part of the new “Be Alarmed” program. The Fire Marshall and the lllinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) launched the initiative Monday. So far 22 stations have signed up. The goal is to get every fire station  in the state on board. The cost is free. 

Fire officials say far too often deadly fires are preventable and they report 6 out of 10 fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms.

Battery life for new smoke detectors is 10 years. Officials say this will make a big difference. 

“If this program saves one family or one person then it was worth the effort of trying to get these alarms in all the homes but hopefully it’s a lot more than that we can save and protect,” says IFSA Executive Director Phil Zaleski.

Zaleski says the goal is to install 5,000 new smoke alarms this year and to help low income areas.

As of January 1st state law requires all buildings to upgrade to long lasting smoke alarms. The mandate is over a 5-year span. 

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