Smoke Alarms

The Skokie Fire Department reminds you to change your batteries in your smoke alarm(s) as you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Change your clocks, change your batteries!

A working smoke alarm increases your chance of surviving a house fire by more than 50%. More than 3,000 deaths occur in house fires each year. Most people die from smoke and toxic gases and not the fire itself.

Family Protection Tips


  • Protect yourself and your family by:
  • Identifying and Practicing Escape Routes
  • Installing Your Smoke Alarms Properly
  • Maintain Your Smoke Alarms and Test Them Monthly
  • Purchasing Multiple Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarm Purchase Tips


What kind should I buy and how much should I spend? The following is recommended:
  • Smoke alarms can be either electrically hard-wired or battery operated.
  • The two most common smoke alarms are ionization and photoelectric.
  • Ionization are more responsive to a flaming fire.
  • Photoelectric are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires.
  • Either smoke alarm will provide sufficient time for escape for all fires; however, for best protection, it is recommended both be installed.
  • Make sure the model has been listed by a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual.
  • Smoke alarms can be purchased for about $10 - $30.
  • Smoke alarms have a life span of about 8-10 years and should be replaced after this time. Always follow manufacturer's guidelines.

Where should I install them?


  • Smoke alarms must be installed on each level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
  • Smoke alarms should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall, 4-6 inches below the ceiling.
  • For best practice, smoke alarms should be interconnected so that a fire detected by any smoke alarm will sound an alarm in all smoke alarms.

Escape Plans


Once a fire has started, it spreads rapidly. Normal exits may become blocked by smoke or fire. You and your family should plan multiple escape routes to guarantee a safe exit.


Escape Plan Tips


  • Plan two exits from every room. Second story windows may need a rope or chain ladder to enable occupants to escape safely.
  • Choose a meeting place outside to meet, to ensure everyone has escaped.
  • Please practice your escape plan. Make sure children know exactly what to do; you may not be able to reach them at the time of a fire.