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New Law To Prevent Home Fire Deaths

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A new law in Illinois should help prevent people from dying in fires at home. Today in Rock Island, firefighters and elected officials talked about the new law. It requires homes built before 1988 to have special, new smoke detectors. They're called "Ten Year Battery Sealed" smoke detectors. It only applies to homes without hardwired smoke detectors. 

Rock Island Fire Marshall, Greg Marty, says most people die from fires in their homes. That's why free installation is available.

"Well, through our Fire Prevention Bureau, we have two different programs that will go out and install [smoke] detectors. We work with the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. We also work with the Red Cross. There's a different criteria for each of which detectors can go up in which different types of residences in Rock Island, but we can cover just about any residence where people live, and especially where they sleep. So, people can contact the Fire Marshall's Office if they are in need of smoke detectors, we can take care of them. We'll actually go out with our crews and install them where they're needed."

Last year, there were 114 residential fire deaths in Illinois, and this year 97 people have died so far. In most of those homes, the smoke detectors failed.

Fire departments and other agencies want to help home owners with the requirement to install new 10 Year Battery Sealed Smoke Detectors. More information is available from fire departments and the Red Cross.