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  1. #1
    Bob Schlack's Avatar
    Bob Schlack Guest

    Default Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Hi,
    I have a question about smoke detectors in residential rental properties. A client of mind recently purchased a rental property and I noticed that the smoke detectors were only battery operated. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe they must have a dual power source. Also, there are no cardon monoxide detectors. Aren't they required as well?

    Thanks.

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Schlack View Post
    Hi,
    I have a question about smoke detectors in residential rental properties. A client of mind recently purchased a rental property and I noticed that the smoke detectors were only battery operated. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe they must have a dual power source. Also, there are no cardon monoxide detectors. Aren't they required as well?

    Thanks.
    BS: That depends on many other things. Are these new properties or existing buildings? Are they single family dwellings or multi-family? What is the adopted code in the municipality for either new construction or existing buildings? What inane amendments has the AHJ imposed?

    It appears that PA has adopted the 2006 I-Codes lock, stock, and barrel. So then, for new construction, IRC 313, NFPA 72, and UL 217 would apply.
    Long story short, interconnected in all bedrooms, common areas outside bedrooms, and on each story of the dwelling.

    As for CO, many states have passed comprehensive CO alarm laws: ALASKA, CALIFORNIA, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, ILLINOIS, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, UTAH, VERMONT, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN. You will have to look up PA's particular statues that apply.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    It depends on some of the things Aaron mentioned, most importantly on how old the structure is and whether or not fire alarms (which is what smoke detectors are) are required to be installed in existing buildings and what type was required to be installed when - which gets to your local laws and codes.

    "Should" they be 120 volt and battery back-up? Yes.

    Are they "required" to be? Maybe, maybe not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Smoke Alarms My area requires one in each bedroom and one in a common area on each floor. New construction requires that they all be hard wired with battery back up. Rental property, unless new allow for battery but require that they be checked by the owner every twelev months. We recommend that they keep a log on all alarms in rental units When checked , have been batteries or alarms been removed, and date corrected. CO alarms are required with in 15' of all sleeping rooms


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Our house is 30 years old, one smoke detector in the hallway was required, that was it.

    I removed it and installed battery units which have wireless interconnectivity - one goes off and they all go off, there is now one inside each bedroom too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Our house is 30 years old, one smoke detector in the hallway was required, that was it.

    I removed it and installed battery units which have wireless interconnectivity - one goes off and they all go off, there is now one inside each bedroom too.
    JP: Interesting. Never seen wireless alarms before. How dependable are they?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Interesting. Never seen wireless alarms before. How dependable are they?

    Dependable in what way?

    As smoke detectors? Same as any other smoke detector.

    As battery use? Change batteries (2 AA) every 6 months (just like is SUPPOSED to be done with ALL smoke detector batteries) ... wait 7 months or so and you will KNOW you forgot, and if you change the batteries in one, go ahead and change the batteries in all of them as they all run down about the same time (found that out too).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dependable in what way?

    As smoke detectors? Same as any other smoke detector.

    As battery use? Change batteries (2 AA) every 6 months (just like is SUPPOSED to be done with ALL smoke detector batteries) ... wait 7 months or so and you will KNOW you forgot, and if you change the batteries in one, go ahead and change the batteries in all of them as they all run down about the same time (found that out too).
    JP: It is my understanding from discussions with alarm installers that the wireless units are undependable, i.e. break down with a greater frequency. I was only wondering about how long these have been in the field and what their track record may be. Are they comparably priced with wired units? Purposeful curiosity on my part because I need to replace mine in January and they are not interconnected.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Are they comparably priced with wired units? Purposeful curiosity on my part because I need to replace mine in January and they are not interconnected.
    They are more expensive, but much easier than going up into the attic and wiring in more smoke detectors to the original one.

    Being as smoke detectors are REQUIRED to be changed every 10 years, yeah, that difference would add up over the life of the house, but not over the life of time most people own a house.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    They are more expensive, but much easier than going up into the attic and wiring in more smoke detectors to the original one.

    Being as smoke detectors are REQUIRED to be changed every 10 years, yeah, that difference would add up over the life of the house, but not over the life of time most people own a house.
    JP: What brand did you get?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Dual supply for smoke detectors

    Kidde

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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