If you’re either selling or renting a home, you need to be aware of a new smoke detector law. The low cost battery operated smoke detectors will no longer be permitted. Instead, homes built before 1978 must use a new style of smoke detector which has a sealed battery with a 10 year life. Part of the impetus behind this is that no longer will you be able to simply remove the almost dead battery. This is something people do to turn off the alarm. In addition, sometimes people need the battery for another device, and don’t replace it.
Why a New Smoke Detector Law?
Safety is the goal of this new law about smoke detectors. In fact, the most common reason for a non-functioning smoke alarm is the lack of a working battery.
What About Newer Homes?
In properties built after 1977, the smoke alarms may be hard wired. If your home was built between 1978 and 1984, check to see if they’re hard wired, or AC powered. In yes, the battery is only for backup power. The new regulations don’t affect you. The battery in those units is for backup power, not normal operation. However, if the unit is battery powered, follow the new 10 year battery regulations.
Homes built starting in 1984 require hard wired (AC powered) smoke detectors.
Enforcement of the New Smoke Detector Law
An official from the town will inspect the interior and exterior of the property to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. The inspection process varies from town to town. However, one constant is the fire inspection. During the fire inspections, both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are checked, as well as the proper class of fire extinguisher.
When you apply for a Certificate of Occupancy, read the requirements. If the inspection fails because of the wrong smoke detector or fire extinguisher, the town may charge for a second inspection. Have the proper style installed, as per the towns instructions.
Any questions about the new smoke detector law, contact us.
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