Illinois Public Act 102-0046 was passed on July 9, 2021 to update the Illinois Smoke Detector Act (Public Act 100-0200).
The new law removes the exemption from the applicability of the Illinois Smoke Detector Act for dwelling units within municipalities with a population over 1,000,000 inhabitants. Accordingly, the Illinois Smoke Detector Act will apply to dwelling units within the City of Chicago effective January 1, 2023.
Prior to the adoption of this new Public Act, the requirements of the Illinois Smoke Detector Act did not apply to dwelling units within the City of Chicago.
In addition, the City of Chicago Council passed an ordinance on February 24, 2021 aligning with the new state law to provide uniform standards and avoid enforcement confusion.
What Landlords Need to Know
Starting January 1, 2023, single and multi-family Illinois homeowners will need to use smoke alarms featuring 10-year batteries.
Specifically, the City of Chicago’s Ordinance contains a new requirement for sealed-battery smoke alarms, which applies when an existing battery-powered smoke alarm stops working or reaches the end of its useful life as indicated on the back of the device, typically ten years. The Chicago Building Code requirement for landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is not changed.
Tenants of rented units will continue to be responsible for replacing the batteries in battery-type smoke alarms until a new sealed-battery smoke alarm is installed. Tenants are also responsible for regularly testing smoke alarms within their unit and notifying the landlord in writing if the device is not working.
As noted in the Act:
- “…the smoke detectors required in such dwelling units may be either: battery powered provided the battery is a self-contained, non-removable, long term battery…”
- “…or wired into the structure’s AC power line, and need not be interconnected…”
- “Every dwelling unit or hotel shall be equipped with at least one approved smoke detector in an operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.”
- “The detector shall be installed on the ceiling and at least 6 inches from any wall, or on a wall located between 4 and 6 inches from the ceiling.”
- “Every single family residence shall have at least one approved smoke detector installed on every story of the dwelling unit, including basements but not including unoccupied attics.”
According to the new law, there are several exceptions to which battery requirements do not apply, including:
- “…a fire alarm, smoke detector, smoke alarm, or ancillary component that is electronically connected as a part of a centrally monitored or supervised alarm system…
- …a fire alarm, smoke detector, smoke alarm, or ancillary component that uses: (i) a low-power radio frequency wireless communication signal, or (ii) Wi-Fi or other wireless Local Area Networking capability to send and receive notifications to and from the Internet, such as early low battery warnings before the device reaches a critical low power level…”
Violations and Fines
As noted in the Chicago Ordinance:
- “A party in violation of the battery requirements…shall be provided with 90 day’s warning with which to rectify that violation.”
- “If that party fails to rectify the violation within that 90 day period, he or she may be assessed a fine of up to $100, and may be fined $100 every 30 days thereafter until either the violation is rectified or the cumulative amount of fines assessed reaches $1,500.”
You can read Illinois Public Act 102-0046 here: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=102-0046
You can read about the City of Chicago ordinance here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bldgs/provdrs/inspect/news/2021/february/city-council-passes-ordinance-mandating-sealed-battery-smoke-ala.html#:~:text=%E2%80%9CSmoke%20detectors%20save%20lives%2C%20and,%2C%20effective%20January%201%2C%202023
With the ever-changing nature of state and local laws, landlords should consult with legal counsel to determine what, if anything, should be done in order to comply with the Illinois Smoke Detector Act and new City of Chicago ordinance.
KSN attorneys are familiar with the latest landlord/tenant laws and regulations. We work quickly and efficiently with landlords and rental property managers to discuss evictions, lease reviews, and other legal concerns.
KSN can be reached by calling 855-537-0500 or by visiting www.ksnlaw.com.
Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collections, landlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We represent thousands of clients and community associations throughout the US with offices in several states including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
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