Illinois DCFS distributes smoke alarms to 897 Illinois families this year, reminds the public to practice a home fire escape plan.

CHICAGO - Fire Prevention WeekTM is October 8-14, and Illinois DCFS is reminding everyone about the importance of creating a home fire escape plan and practicing that plan with the entire family so everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.

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DCFS launched a free statewide program in October 2019 to provide smoke alarms to families served by the department. As of August 31, DCFS has distributed 4,312 smoke alarms to families across Illinois, including 897 this year.

“In a fire, a few seconds can be the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy, and ensuring every family we serve has a working smoke alarm is a simple and important step we can take to save lives,” said Illinois DCFS Director Marc D. Smith. “It is also important for families to have and practice a fire escape plan so they can quickly get out of the residence and to a safe meeting place if the alarm sounds.”

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According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
  • More than one-third (38%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Illinois law requires every household to have smoke alarms within 15 feet of every bedroom and at least one on each floor of the home. Families served by DCFS may request smoke alarms from their caseworker or call their local field office to request one.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention in general, visit

About the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

Founded in 1964, DCFS is responsible for protecting children from abuse or neglect by responding to reports received by the Child Abuse Hotline at (non-emergency situations) or 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). With the goal of keeping children safe, DCFS strengthens and supports families with a wide range of services. When keeping a child safe means removing them from the home, DCFS makes every effort to reunite them with their family. When the best interest of the child makes this impossible, DCFS is committed to pursuing guardianship or adoption by loving families to provide children with a safe and permanent home. DCFS is also responsible for licensing and monitoring of all Illinois child welfare agencies.

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