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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.


The states that have a law anniversary this year are Kansas, Louisiana & Utah.


Does Your Smoke Alarm Need to be Replaced in 2021?


Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and in 2021 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 2021. If your state is listed, find out how to keep your home safe below.

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Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). In lodging establishments (boarding houses, bed & breakfast, etc.), if a battery-operated detector is not operational for two consecutive tests, the licensee shall install a detector that is hardwired with a battery backup.

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. At the time of sale or lease, one/two-family homes must be equipped with, at minimum, an operable ten-year, sealed lithium battery smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms are required in all sleeping rooms and outside of separate sleeping areas or in the immediate vicinity, and on each level of the dwelling, including the basement. Smoke alarms are to be installed in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multi-family homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. NFPA 720 (2015 ed.).

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

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Alaska

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, installed in accordance with NFPA 72, and UL-listed.

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Arizona

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.) Smoke alarms are required in all new and existing multi-family dwellings, dormitories, hotels, and motels. Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, installed in accordance with NFPA 72, and UL-listed.


Phoenix city ordinance G-5898-2014 specifies that a smoke alarm cannot remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery-operated in existing buildings where no construction is taking place, provided the smoke alarm is UL-listed with a sealed 10-year lithium battery. As of April 2014, homeowners must install 10-year, sealed-battery smoke alarms when replacing outdated, missing, or damaged units.

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Arkansas

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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California

In California, effective January 1, 2013, smoke alarms are required in all one- or two-unit dwellings, lodging houses, apartment complexes, hotels, motels, condominiums, stock cooperatives, time-share projects, dwelling units of a multiple-unit dwelling complexes, and factory-built housing.


Effective July 1, 2014, no person shall market, distribute, offer for sale, or sell any smoke alarm that is not operated by a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years.


Effective January 1, 2020, all used manufactured homes, used mobile homes, and used multifamily manufactured homes that are sold or rented on or after January 1, 2020, are required to be equipped with smoke alarms.

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Colorado

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Connecticut

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms must be installed before the sale or transfer of the home.

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Delaware

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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District of Columbia

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms must be installed in accordance with NFPA 72 (2013 ed.).

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Florida

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms must be installed before the sale or transfer of the home.

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Georgia

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms must be installed before the sale or transfer of the home. Existing battery-powered smoke alarms in multifamily housing must be replaced by 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms when the device is no longer operational, is 10 years older than the date of manufacture, or there is no manufacture date on the device.

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Hawaii

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.


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Idaho

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. 

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Illinois

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.


Effective January 1, 2023, existing battery-powered smoke alarms must be replaced by 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms when the device is no longer operational, is 10 years older than the date of manufacture, or there is no manufacture date on the device.


Chicago: Effective January 1, 2023, it is unlawful for a person to sell, offer for sale, or give away any smoke alarm that does receive primary power from a building's wiring, or is powered by a self-contained, non-removable, long-term battery. On or after January 1, 2022, solely battery-powered smoke alarms installed in multifamily dwellings must be powered by a self-contained, non-removable, long-term battery. By January 1, 2033, solely battery-powered alarms in owner occupied dwelling units must be replaced by alarms powered by a self-contained, non-removable, long-term battery.

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Indiana

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Battery-powered smoke alarms in hotels and motels must contain a tamper-proof battery.

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Iowa

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Battery-powered smoke alarms in hotels and motels must contain a tamper-proof battery. Effective December 9, 2020, smoke alarms in both existing and newly constructed residential dwellings must be UL-listed. Effective July 1, 2022, all battery-powered smoke alarms must contain a tamper-proof battery that lasts for at least 10 years.

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Kansas

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). In lodging establishments (boarding houses, bed & breakfast, etc.), if a battery-operated detector is not operational for two consecutive tests, the licensee shall install a detector that is hardwired with a battery backup.

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Kentucky

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.


Louisville-Jefferson County Ordinance 94.02 requires all smoke alarms to be hardwired or powered by a non-replaceable, 10-year lithium battery.

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Louisiana

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. At the time of sale or lease, one/two-family homes must be equipped with, at a minimum, an operable ten-year, sealed lithium battery smoke alarm.

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Maine

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. A landlord may install 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms if the unit is a single-family dwelling.

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Maryland

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Battery-powered smoke alarms must be replaced by 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms. Sales of battery-powered smoke alarms are restricted to alarms with a 10-year sealed battery. Smoke alarms shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 72 (2013 ed.).

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Massachusetts

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Battery-powered smoke alarms are required to contain a 10-year tamper-proof battery. 

Additional smoke alarms, beyond those required, do not need to contain a 10-year tamper-proof battery.

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Michigan

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Minnesota

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Mississippi

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Missouri

There is no statewide fire or building code in Missouri. Codes are adopted at the local level. Smoke alarms are required in many newly constructed residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms installed in new residential construction shall be hardwired and interconnected.


For your specific compliance requirements, please refer to the local ordinances or consult legal counsel.

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Montana

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Nebraska

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Nevada

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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New Hampshire

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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New Jersey

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Battery-powered smoke alarms must contain a 10-year sealed battery. Before a one- or two-family home is sold, leased, or otherwise transferred, the owner shall obtain a certificate of smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, and portable fire extinguisher compliance. 

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New Mexico

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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New York

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Sales of battery-powered smoke alarms are restricted to alarms with a 10-year sealed battery.

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North Carolina

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.


Effective January 1, 2013, when installing or replacing a battery-powered smoke alarm, a landlord shall install a tamper-resistant, 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm.

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North Dakota

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms are required in all residential rental properties. While there is no statewide fire code in North Dakota, local fire codes often require smoke alarms in existing owner-occupied residential dwellings.

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Ohio

Smoke alarms are required in all dwellings. Effective January 1, 2016, any newly constructed one/two-family dwelling must 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.

Cleveland:

Effective January 1, 2017, battery-powered smoke alarms are required 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

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Oregon

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Ionization smoke alarms that are solely battery-operated must be equipped with a 10-year tamper-proof battery.

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Pennsylvania

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Rhode Island

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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South Carolina

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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South Dakota

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Tennessee

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed.

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Texas

There is no statewide fire or building code in Texas; codes are adopted at the local level. Smoke alarms are required in many newly constructed residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms installed in new residential construction shall be hardwired and interconnected. In Texas, landlords are required to install smoke alarms in each sleeping room, corridors serving multiple sleeping rooms, and each level of a rental unit.


Houston Fire Code 1103.8.1 requires a battery-powered smoke alarm installed in multifamily housing be replaced with a smoke alarm containing a tamper-resistant, sealed smoke alarm containing a long-life lithium or similar battery.

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Utah

Smoke alarms are required in all sleeping rooms and outside of separate sleeping areas or in the immediate vicinity, and on each level of the dwelling, including the basement. Smoke alarms are to be installed in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multi-family homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. NFPA 720 (2015 ed.).

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Vermont

Photo-electric only smoke alarms equipped with a 10-year sealed battery are required to be installed in all residential dwellings (single family, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Dwellings constructed after January 1994 must have alarms directly wired to the building electrical service and contain a battery backup.

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Virginia

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 72 (2013 ed.).

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Washington

In Washington, smoke alarms are required to be installed inside all dwelling units:

  • Occupied by persons other than the owner on or after December 31, 1981.

  • Built or manufactured in the state after December 31, 1980; or

  • Sold on or after July 1, 2019

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West Virginia

Smoke alarms are required to be installed in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area in all residential one- and two-family dwellings, including manufactured homes (NFPA 72). Residential dwellings occupied by a deaf or hearing impaired individual other than the owner; must be equipped with a smoke detector with a light signal upon written request.

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Wisconsin

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms must be hardwired with battery back-up placed on each level including the basement, inside each sleeping area or in the hallway within 21 feet of the sleeping area if multiple bedrooms are on the level.

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Wyoming

Smoke alarms are required in all residential dwellings (single family homes, multifamily homes, hotels, rental properties, dormitories, etc.). Smoke alarms in newly constructed or renovated dwellings are required to be hardwired with a battery back-up, interconnected, and UL-listed. Smoke alarms shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 720 (2016 ed.).

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*This information is Kidde's summary interpretation of the codes of each state and was prepared as general reference material ONLY. This summary is NOT authoritative. For your specific compliance requirements, please refer to the actual law or regulation, or consult legal counsel.*