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  Smoke Detector Requirements

Smoke Detector Requirements for the State of Illinois

Smoke and other products of combustion products are the first signs of a potential fire. Thus detecting smoke, combustion particles, or toxic combustion gases is one of the fastest known ways to alert people 24/7 to the existence of a potential fire. This early detection provides more time for safe evacuation. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, fires represent the fourth largest accidental killer in the United States behind motor vehicle accidents, falls, and drownings.


Each year nearly 3,000 Americans die in a residential fire, which averages out to approximately eight deaths per day. Data shows that the majority of victims are children and/or the elderly. While kitchen fires are the number one cause of residential fires, most residential fire fatalities start somewhere other than the kitchen. Additionally, the majority of residential fire fatalities occur between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when most people are asleep. Automatic smoke detection devices, such as smoke alarms detectors, that are properly installed and maintained, play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries in workplaces and homes. Since the 1970’s, smoke alarms detectors contributed to an almost 50% decrease in fire deaths. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that smoke alarms detectors and smoke alarms are present and in good working condition for the protection of life and property.


In accordance with the Smoke Detector Act (425 ILCS 60) all residential occupancies in Illinois are required to be provided with smoke alarms detectors. The statute also requires that if a home was newly constructed or substantially remodeled after December 31, 1987, the smoke alarm detectors must be powered by the building’s electrical system (not battery powered) and interconnected so that the activation of any one smoke alarm detector causes all alarms detectors in the home to activate.


In addition to the requirements found in Smoke Detector Act the Office of the State Fire Marshal enforces the 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code through its adoption by the Fire Investigation Act 425 ILCS 25. The Life Safety Code also contains smoke alarm detector requirements for certain occupancies other than single- and two -family homes.


The fact sheets below should provide information and assistance related to the installation of smoke alarms in residential occupancies.


 Smoke Alarm Fact Sheet - Single Family Homes


 Smoke Alarm Fact Sheet - Tenants and Landlords


 NFPA 101 Smoke Alarm Summary