Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke Detector

The State of Illinois has mandated, for decades that smoke detectors shall be installed within 15 feet of all bedrooms and one on each floor level of the home. Since January 1, 1987 the State of Illinois has required smoke detectors in all newly constructed, or substantially remodeled dwellings to be installed in each bedroom, be wired into the into the structures AC power in such a manner that if one detector activates they all do, interconnected. In older homes we still see the battery operated detectors, which have done a great job for many years, provided the batteries are replaced on a regular basis. The Palatine Fire Department has long issued the public message, "Change your clocks, change your batteries," this way the batteries are being replaced twice a year in your smoke or carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

As of January 1, 2007 carbon monoxide detectors have been required to be installed within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes, in every home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless odorless gas produced by appliances burning fossil fuels such as furnaces, wood burning fireplaces / stoves, and in some cases even candles. Carbon monoxide is referred to as the silent killer accounting for 200-300 unintentional deaths per year. The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including one’s general health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and those affected by heart or lung disease can be severely affected by low concentrations of CO. A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a long period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter period of time.

When purchasing a smoke or CO detector look for proof that the detector has been tested by a national testing laboratory such as Underwriters Labs (UL), or Factory Mutual (FM). Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when installing them. Detectors powered by the household electric current are required to have a battery back-up, in the event there is a power failure.

In the Event Your Alarm Sounds

If your smoke or CO detector sounds:

  • If it is an intermittent alarm and the detector is battery powered or has a battery back-up check the battery. Detectors are designed to activate
  • in this manner when the battery power is getting low.
  • If the detector makes a series of chirps, 3 or 4, check the fault codes listed on the back of the detector. This chirp code may be indicating the detector has reached its end of life or that it is defective and in either case it needs to be replaced.
  • If it is a steady alarm make sure everyone in the home is alert.
  • If the source of the activation can not be immediately identified evacuate and request the Fire Department by dialing 911.
  • Never re-enter the house until the Fire Department has given the OK.

The Fire Prevention Division is always ready to answer any questions regarding the purchase or operation of your detectors by dialing our general office number 847-359-9029.