The State of Illinois requires all homes to have smoke alarms within 15 feet of all sleeping quarters, on every level of a home and within every sleeping quarter. There are two different types of smoke alarms- photoelectric and ionization. Each type will work with different types of fire.
- Photoelectric detectors are generally more sensitive than ionization technology at detecting large particles of smoke, which are produced by smoldering fires.
- Ionization detectors are generally more sensitive at detecting small particles, which are produced by fast-flaming fires. Most of the detectors manufactured today utilize ionization technology.
- There are also alarms that are both photoelectric and ionization sensing. These alarms will offer the best of both technologies for early fire detection.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS AND POISONING
High levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal, causing death within minutes. Carbon monoxide is a gas you can’t see, taste or smell. Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning or other illnesses and can have a long term health risk if left unattended. Therefore, it is extremely important to recognize the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
Recently Illinois passed a law requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of sleeping quarters in homes that are heated with any fossil fuel appliances. When choosing a carbon monoxide detector, the Fire Department suggests installing a detector that has an easy to read light-emitting diode (LED) display that will show the level of carbon monoxide.
- Look for a detector that is both AC powered and a battery backup. Most of the detectors with an LED display are AC powered.
- Make sure you are purchasing the newest device available.
- Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a good alternative if your smoke alarm needs replacement. This combination detector should be placed in the hallway area outside of the sleeping quarters of your home.
- With a combination alarm/detector, be familiar with the different sounds that your device will make indicating between smoke and carbon monoxide.
If you have any further questions, please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 847/818-5253.
FIRE SPRINKLERS...DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know the following facts about sprinklers?
- Smoke alarms and sprinklers can reduce the loss of life in a fire by 98.5%.
- 98% of all fires in homes are controlled with the activation of one sprinkler head.
- Sprinklers prevent the fast developing fires of intense heat, which are capable of trapping and killing building occupants.
- Sprinklers discharge less amounts of water than fire department hoses.
You shouldn’t always believe what you see on television or in the movies. Fire sprinklers are individually heat activated. Many times people believe that when there is a fire the smoke from the fire will start a fire sprinkler to flow water. The truth, however, is that each sprinkler head has a heat activated element that will allow water to flow only when the ceiling temperatures reach a specific temperature, usually around 155 degrees Fahrenheit at the ceiling. Smoke from the fire will NOT activate a sprinkler head. Since sprinkler heads are heat activated, they are only activated when the fire is in the area of the head. In other words, when one goes off they don’t all go off.
Download more information regarding "How a Sprinkler Works."
POISION PREVENTION AWARENESS
General Medicine Safety Tips:
- Read the medicine label.
- Be sure you understand the directions and follow them exactly.
- Always use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
- Never share your medicine with someone else or take someone else’s medicine.
- Know which foods, drinks or other medicines can be dangerous if taken together.
- Do not chew, crush or break capsules or tablets unless the doctor or pharmacist says to do so.
- Take your medicines for the exact number of days your doctor has told you to, even if you feel better.
- Always keep medicine in its original container with its original label.
- After you use a medicine, put the safety cap back on tightly.
Please visit the Illinois Poison Center website for more information.
FIRE-RELATED WEBSITES SAFETY TOPICS
US Fire Administration Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition
Illinois Fire Safety Alliance
National Fire Protection Association
Consumer Product Safety Council