ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A smoke detector could save your life in the event of a fire, so the Rockford Fire Department has been going door-to-door installing the devices in homes without one.

A new Illinois law that went into effect in January requires smoke detectors with 10-year batteries be installed in all new homes.

Firefighters are hoping to raise awareness of the importance of having one.

Last month, a woman died after her Rockford home caught fire.

“Unfortunately, in that fire death, one of the factors was the fact that there wasn’t a functioning smoke detector present,” said Rockford arson investigator, Michael Schanpper.

Schnapper said having a smoke detector can increase the odds of escaping a fire, thanks to their early detection capabilities.

“We want to install as many as we can. So, for every door we knock on, as many smoke detectors as they need, which is: you need one on each floor and one within 15 feet of a bedroom,” he said.

The Rockford Fire Department has over 50 detectors with ten year lithium batteries that they can install for free.

“In some houses, some of the smoke detectors are older and [the newer models] don’t fit the same, so we try and pick an inconspicuous location. We want to be in the hallway, in-between the bedrooms,” said Rockford Firefighter Tim Brown.

Odila Mata said she is one of several people in her neighborhood who now have a working smoke detector, thanks to the program.

“I never had that fire detector,” she told firefighters who stopped by her house on Wednesday. “You guys are taking care of me and my house, my dog, and I feel blessed.”

Schnapper said he wants every house in Rockford to have one.

“The Rockford Fire Department is investing in the community, and we are there not just as emergency responders but as people, who have an investment in the safety of people and their comfort of living,” he said.

The fire department said it will give a smoke detector to anyone who calls them, and they’ll come and install it.

As of Wednesday, they have installed 29 smoke detectors and 11 carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors in 16 homes.