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Fire Safety Laws

Learning the basics of fire safety is the first step in fighting fire – and it just so happens to be the most important.

Understanding the best ways to protect your home and family or your business from fire should always be at the top of your to-do list. From selecting fire extinguishers and smoke alarms to knowing your state’s laws, fire safety 101 begins now.

According to the NFPA, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms or working alarms. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Dead batteries and expired alarms can put you at risk.

 

Many cities and states have created legislation requiring smoke alarms or specific types of smoke alarms in various settings. Certain laws also specify when homes need carbon monoxide alarms or other safety products. Understanding your local requirements can help you keep your home safe from the dangers of fire.


States that have law anniversaries this year are: Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin.


Does Your Smoke Alarm Need to be Replaced in 2019?


Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and in 2019 it may be time to replace yours. These states have safety legislation that either came into effect 10 years ago or will be going into effect in 2019. If your state is listed, find out how to keep your home safe below.

firesafetystates

Denver, Colorado: Effective January 1, 2019

All Group I (rehabilitation centers, group homes, day cares, etc.) and R dwellings (apartment buildings, hotels, motels, etc.) must replace battery-operated CO alarms upon activation of end-of-life with alarms that have a permanent integral 10-year lithium battery.

Effective October 1, 2009

New and existing single-family dwellings are required to install a photoelectric smoke alarm within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom containing a tub or shower.

Effective January 1, 2019

Group R1, R2, R3 Dwellings In dwelling units or guestrooms, 10-year sealed battery-powered single station smoke alarms shall be installed. Such smoke alarms shall be maintained in accordance with New Jersey Administrative Code. In existing one- and two-family or attached single-family dwellings smoke alarms must be installed on each level of the premises, and installed outside of each separate sleeping area.
The smoke alarms required in one- and two-family or attached single-family dwellings subject to the requirements of N.J.A.C 5:70-2.3, shall be located and maintained in accordance with NFPA 72. The alarms shall not be required to be interconnected.
Ten-year sealed battery-powered single station smoke alarms shall be installed and shall be listed in accordance with ANSI/UL 217, incorporated herein by reference. However, A/C-powered single or multiple station smoke alarms installed as part of the original construction or rehabilitation project shall not be replaced with battery-powered smoke alarms.


Effective April 1, 2019

In order to be sold in the state of New York, smoke alarms, if battery-operated, contain a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for a minimum of 10 years. Any inventory of replaceable battery smoke alarms purchased before April 1, 2019 will be allowed to be sold.

Wireless devices are exempt from these requirements.

Effective April 1, 2019

In order to be sold in the state of New York, smoke alarms, if battery-operated, contain a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for a minimum of 10 years. Any inventory of replaceable battery smoke alarms purchased before April 1, 2019 will be allowed to be sold.
Wireless devices are exempt from these requirements.


New York City:

Effective April 1, 2014

Approved Alarms: All battery-operated smoke alarms, including combination CO/smoke alarms, shall comply with UL 217 and shall employ a non-removable, non-replaceable battery that powers the alarm for a minimum of 10 years, and shall be the type that emits an audible notification at the expiration of the useful life of the alarm.


Requirement: Smoke alarms shall be replaced when the time elapsed since the installation of such alarm exceeds the manufacturer's suggested useful life of the alarm. Exception: A smoke alarm installed prior to the effective date of this Act and whose end of useful life is not known shall be replaced with an alarm that complies with this Act within 7 years after the effective date.

The owner of class A and class B multiple dwelling shall keep and maintain smoke detecting devices in good repair and replace any smoke detecting device which has been stolen, removed, missing, or rendered inoperable during a prior occupancy and which has not been replaced by the prior occupant prior to the commencement of a new occupancy.

Effective April 1, 2014

For multi-family dwellings, no smoke alarm, including an alarm that exists on September 1, 2011, may remain in service for more than that specified by the manufacturer. The replacement of a smoke alarm that uses a battery as its primary power source shall be a new smoke alarm that complies with UL 217 and either of the following:

  • The alarm is hardwired in accordance with IBC section 907.2.11.4 and has backup power in accordance with that section.

  • The alarm uses, as its primary power source, a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the alarm for at least 10 years.


Madison:

Effective August 2010

For single-family dwellings, any battery powered smoke alarm which is newly installed or replaces an existing alarm, shall have a battery which is non-replaceable, non-removable, and capable of powering the alarm for a minimum of ten years.
Effective August 2009 For multi-family dwellings, any battery powered smoke alarm which is newly installed or replaces an existing alarm, shall have a battery which is non-replaceable, non-removable, and capable of powering the alarm for a minimum of ten years.


Milwaukee:

Effective June 1, 2013

Requires that all battery-operated smoke alarms shall be powered by 10-year or more non-removable (sealed in) batteries. Compliance with this requirement must be met when replacing an existing battery-operated unit according to the manufacturer's recommended replacement date or by October 1, 2017, whichever is sooner.

Kidde-Safety-Laws-Map

Select your state below to find out the latest fire safety laws and legislation

Don't see your state listed above? Select your state below to see its associated Fire safety laws and legislation.

Alabama

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Alaska

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Arizona

Phoenix:

Effective April 18, 2014
All existing residential dwellings where solely battery-operated smoke alarms are installed, a UL listed smoke alarm with a sealed 10-year lithium battery shall be used. A smoke alarm shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.

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Arkansas

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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California

Effective July 1, 2014
In order to be approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal, a smoke alarm shall:

  • Display the date of manufacture on the device

  • Provide a place on the device where the date of installation can be written

  • Incorporate a hush feature

  • Incorporate an end-of-life feature that provides notice that the device needs to be replaced 5. If battery-operated, contain a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for a minimum of 10 years

Wireless devices are exempt from these requirements.


On or before January 1, 2016, the owner of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy in which one or more units is rented or leased shall install additional smoke alarms, as needed, to ensure that smoke alarms are located in compliance with current building standards. Existing alarms need not be replaced unless the alarm is inoperable. New smoke alarms installed in compliance with current building standards may be battery operated provided the alarms have been approved by the State Fire Marshal for sale in the state.


Albany:

Property owners that undergo construction, renovation, or that replace their smoke alarms shall replace them with photoelectric only smoke alarms. When a dwelling is offered for sale, the required alarms shall be changed to photoelectric only smoke alarms. Multifamily dwelling owners shall install photoelectric only smoke alarms. Nothing in this ordinance shall prohibit or discourage the additional use of ionization or dual type alarms in additional locations.


Palo Alto:

Smoke detectors or smoke alarms located within 20 feet of a kitchen or room containing a wood-burning stove or fireplace shall be photoelectric detectors or alarms.
In any other required locations, dual sensor photoelectric/ionization detectors or alarms shall be installed. A photoelectric smoke detector or alarm installed together with an ionization smoke detector or alarm may be used as a substitute for a dual sensor photoelectric/ionization detector or alarm.

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Connecticut

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Delaware

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Florida

Effective January 1, 2015
A battery-powered smoke alarm that is newly installed or replaces an existing battery-powered smoke alarm must be powered by a non-removable, non-replaceable batteries that powers the alarm for at least 10 years.


Effective July 1, 2014
One-family and two-family dwellings and townhomes undergoing a repair or a level 1 alteration as defined in the Florida Building Code, may use smoke alarms powered by 10-year non-removable, non-replaceable batteries in lieu of retrofitting such dwelling with smoke alarms powered by the dwelling's electrical system.

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Georgia

Dwelling units built before July 1987 which are not zoned as one-family and two-family dwellings, or one- and two-family townhouses. Battery operated smoke alarms installed in residential dwellings built before July 1987 shall be replaced:

  • When the smoke alarm is older than 10 years from the date of manufacture

  • When the smoke alarm is needing to be replaced for any reason

  • When the smoke alarm does not have a date of manufacture

  • When the dwelling's owner cannot show that they have a program to test smoke alarms, maintain smoke alarms, and to replace smoke alarm batteries

A smoke alarm shall be listed and having a tamper resistant housing and powered by a battery that is non-removable, non-replaceable, and capable of powering the alarm for a minimum of 10 years from the manufacturer's date on the device.

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Hawaii

None at this time.


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Idaho

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Illinois

Dwelling units built before January 1988 and hotels must replace battery only alarms with a battery powered alarm provided the battery is a self-contained, non-removable, long-term battery. Replacement is required when the alarm is more than 10 years past date of manufacture and/or fails to respond to operability tests or otherwise malfunctions. Wireless interconnected battery alarms are exempt. DOES NOT APPLY TO MUNICIPALITIES OF GREATER THAN 1M INHABITANTS.

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Indiana

Indianapolis/Marion County:

Effective Friday, August 1, 2014
The 10-year smoke alarm code will become official for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana. It applies to all one- and two-family dwellings and duplexes. It also applies to Class 1 dwellings (multifamily dwellings) but because state law preempts local laws from applying to Class 1 dwellings, we have to go through a separate process through the state building commission to get approval for this ordinance apply.


The ordinance requires a 10-year, non-removable, non-replaceable battery alarm whenever a new battery alarm is installed or an existing battery alarm is replaced.

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Iowa

Effective April 1, 2010
Any smoke alarm that is newly installed or replaces an existing alarm shall be a dual sensor, or an alarm having more than one sensor used for smoke detection. If sufficient dual sensor (or other approved) smoke alarms are installed, other types of smoke alarms may be installed in addition.

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Kansas

None at this time.


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Kentucky

Louisville:

Effective April 10, 2014
All newly transferred single and multi-family dwelling units county-wide require either an AC-powered hardwired smoke detector or a non-removable 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke detector. In order to abide by this new ordinance, all transfers of single and multifamily dwellings will require a signed affidavit stating that the previous owner has replaced all the smoke detectors in the dwelling with an approved type smoke detector.

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Louisiana

Effective January 1, 2011
Existing one- and two-family dwellings at the time of sale or lease shall contain at a minimum one ten-year, sealed lithium battery smoke alarm.

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Maryland

Effective Date: July 1, 2013
10-Year Sealed Battery Smoke Alarm Requirement:
Battery operated smoke alarms shall be replaced with 10-year sealed battery alarms when the alarm exceeds 10 years from date of manufacture, fails to respond to operability tests, or when there is a change of ownership or tenant.


Power Source Requirement:

  • Battery operated alarms are permissible in homes built before July 1, 1975. Other homes must contain hardwired alarms. If there are new placement requirements, battery operated alarms are permissible.

  • As of Jan. 1, 2018, ALL battery operated smoke alarms shall be upgraded to 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms.


New Placement Requirement:

  • Smoke alarms must now be placed on every level of the home and in each sleeping area.

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Massachusetts

Effective April 2011

All newly constructed dwellings must be equipped with either dual sensor or photoelectric smoke alarms, except within 20 feet of an entryway to a kitchen, or a bathroom containing a bathtub or shower where it shall be a photoelectric-only. Existing 1-5 family dwellings built before 1975 which are offered for sale are required to have installed either dual sensor smoke alarms or two separate ionization and photoelectric alarms, except within 20 feet of an entryway to a kitchen, or a bathroom containing a bathtub or shower where it shall be a photoelectric-only. The alarms may be battery-only. In the common (area between units) area of 3-5 family dwellings all smoke alarms must be hardwired.


Effective December 1, 2016
For single-family dwellings and multi-family dwellings with no more than 6 units, built before 1975, upon sale or transfer must be equipped with photoelectric hardwired smoke alarms or photoelectric 10-year sealed battery powered smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms installed prior to December 1, 2016 (that met requirements) can continue to be used until they are 10 years old or have exceeded the manufactures recommend life. Law also applies to combination smoke and CO alarms. Wireless alarms may have a replaceable battery so long as the battery lasts for at least one (1) year. Alarms must be installed in accordance with NFPA 72. Once the minimum requirement is met, additional alarms can be installed that are any technology or battery-type.

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Michigan

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Minnesota

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Mississippi

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Missouri

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Montana

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Nebraska

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Nevada

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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New Hampshire

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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New Mexico

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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North Carolina

Effective January 1, 2013
Requires a landlord, when installing a new smoke alarm or replacing an existing alarm, to install a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery-operated smoke alarm. The landlord shall not be required to install a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery-operated smoke alarm if:

  • The dwelling unit is equipped with a hardwired smoke alarm with a battery backup

  • The dwelling unit is equipped with a combination smoke/CO alarm that meets UL 217 and UL 2034.

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North Dakota

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Ohio

Effective January 1, 2016.
Requires NEW dwellings have

  • A smoke alarm utilizing photoelectric and ionization technologies on each level within each dwelling unit.

  • A smoke alarm in each sleeping room.

  • A smoke alarm that includes photoelectric technology outside each separate sleeping area, such as in the corridors in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms.

  • A smoke alarm on the upper level of dwellings or dwelling units with split levels without an intervening door between the adjacent levels shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

EXISTING dwellings have:

  • Smoke alarms must be provided when alterations or repairs are made to sleeping rooms or outside each separate sleeping area as required for a new dwelling.

  • Smoke alarms must be provided when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings in the new sleeping rooms and in the immediate vicinity outside each sleeping room as required for new dwellings.

Cleveland:

Effective January 1, 2017. Requires battery smoke alarms to be replaced after 10 years from the date of installation with an alarm equipped with a sealed, tamper-proof battery with a service life of not less than 10 years.

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Oklahoma

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Oregon

Ionization smoke alarms must have a hush feature and if solely battery-powered must also have a ten-year battery. Photoelectric, dual-sensor, CO/Smoke alarms are exempt from these requirements.

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Pennsylvania

Philadelphia:

Effective November 27, 2012
Requires battery-operated smoke alarms which are installed in existing one and two-family dwellings built prior to January 1, 1988 to be replaced with battery powered with 10-year non-removable (sealed) battery-operated smoke alarms.

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Rhode Island

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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South Carolina

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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South Dakota

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Tennessee

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Texas

Houston:

Effective Jan 1, 2017
For all Group I-1 (rehabilitation centers, group homes, etc.) and R dwellings (apartment buildings, hotels, motels, etc.), when a battery-operated single-station alarm is replaced, that smoke alarm shall be replaced with a tamper-resistant battery-operated single-station smoke alarm. Nothing shall require an owner to replace an operational battery-operated single-station smoke alarm.


A tamper-resistant battery-operated single-station smoke alarm is defined as a sealed, single-station smoke alarm with a long-life lithium or similar battery.


The owner or manager of a residential building shall ensure that each required smoke detector is installed and operational when the tenant first occupies the unit. After the tenant takes possession of the unit, it shall be the duty of the tenant to regularly test each smoke detector in the unit, and the tenant shall notify the owner immediately in writing of any problem, defect, malfunction or failure of any detector in the unit. Upon notification by the tenant, or upon notification by an inspector of the jurisdiction, that a smoke detector in the residential unit is not in proper working order, the owner shall have the detector repaired or replaced.

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Utah

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Vermont

Effective January 2011.
Requires photoelectric smoke alarms located in the vicinity of bedrooms and on each floor of newly constructed single and multi-family dwellings and upon the sale or transfer of existing single family dwellings. Does not prohibit the additional use of ionization or dual-sensor smoke alarms.

"Effective Jan. 2017. Requires lithium battery powered 10-year tamper-resistant photoelectric smoke alarms in apartment or residential condo buildings built before Jan-1994."

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Virginia

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Washington

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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Wyoming

In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.

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General Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements: In most localities, smoke alarms are required on each level and in every bedroom. For new home construction, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms are usually required.


The vast majority of local jurisdictions have adopted the International Code set, which requires residential occupancies to be equipped with smoke detectors. This aligns with the Model code requirements from NFPA 72 and 720 for residential applications. States generally adopt these requirements as they update their legislation. NOTE: Specific requirements for Smoke Alarm installation vary from state to state and from region to region. Check with your local Fire Department for current requirements in your area.