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  1. #1
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    Apr 2019
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    California
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    Question Smoke Alarm Placement

    In California, Smoke alarm are required to be in certain places. "install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallways leading to the bedrooms, and on each level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4" from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12" from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents.)."

    My question is regarding Mobile homes and what others comment on, as most of my mobile home have 2 bedrooms on 1 end with a small hallway but it is still a hallway, so that is a given that they need both CO and Smoke alarm there, however on the other end of the home there is another bedroom which accesses directly from a family room with no hallway. I suggest placing a Smoke and CO alarm outside the door in the family room...what do you recommend ?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    I'm in Oregon and assume there may be differences between CA and OR codes. Here's a Q&A from a Portland OR code discussion on the Fire department's site about CO alarms. I use this as one source for guidance in my recommendations. If your laws are similar, the second CO detector would need to be in the hallway, or better yet, in the bedroom, at the other end of the building.

    "Do current rules require carbon monoxide alarms in all bedrooms?
    • No, the law requires an alarm within 15 feet of each bedroom door (for example, a single alarm in a hallway may be within 15 feet of two or three bedrooms). However, it is a recommended best practice to have them in each bedroom because ductwork from sources often goes directly to bedrooms, bypassing hallways outside of sleeping areas.
    • https://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/302604"


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    In California, Smoke alarm are required to be in certain places. "install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallways leading to the bedrooms, and on each level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4" from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12" from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents.)."

    My question is regarding Mobile homes and what others comment on, as most of my mobile home have 2 bedrooms on 1 end with a small hallway but it is still a hallway, so that is a given that they need both CO and Smoke alarm there, however on the other end of the home there is another bedroom which accesses directly from a family room with no hallway. I suggest placing a Smoke and CO alarm outside the door in the family room...what do you recommend ?


    Nitty Gritty Inspections, LLC, Tim Kaiser
    Home and small commercial inspections for Central Oregon
    http://nittygrittyinspections.com/index.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    California
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    8

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by tkaiser1 View Post
    I'm in Oregon and assume there may be differences between CA and OR codes. Here's a Q&A from a Portland OR code discussion on the Fire department's site about CO alarms. I use this as one source for guidance in my recommendations. If your laws are similar, the second CO detector would need to be in the hallway, or better yet, in the bedroom, at the other end of the building.

    "Do current rules require carbon monoxide alarms in all bedrooms?
    • No, the law requires an alarm within 15 feet of each bedroom door (for example, a single alarm in a hallway may be within 15 feet of two or three bedrooms). However, it is a recommended best practice to have them in each bedroom because ductwork from sources often goes directly to bedrooms, bypassing hallways outside of sleeping areas.
    • https://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/302604"
    In CA, we only need CO in hallways, and Smoke in bedrooms and adjacent hallways, my question is a 'what-if' a hallway outside the bedroom does not exist.

    I do Thank you for your reply and it only shows how different states are.


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,899

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    In California, Smoke alarm are required to be ... My question is regarding Mobile homes ...
    Mobile homes are not built under the building code, mobile homes are built under the HUD code, so building or fire code would not apply to mobile homes.

    And, I am not familiar with the HUD code, many others here are.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Agree.with Jerry. Since you are not a code inspector you can recommend whatever you feel enhances safety.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    I would be a little leary on how you word your recommendation. As Home Inspectors we probably should not be designing "The Fix" especially when there are specific requirements that may very from state to state or even one local to another. (we do live in a litigious society). I'm not so precise when I'm recommending placement of Smoke and CO detectors. I will make some recommendations but stick in the wording "following the manufacturers recommendations and in accordance with State and local standards...blah...blah"

    I will ad that Smoke and CO detector defects seem to be something written up on almost every report. So I have about four different canned statements ready for the situation. And most of those statements seem to also have BOLD and or Red lettering...Cuz I don't want any of my clients or their family members waking up in the morning Dead.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Luxemburg, Wisconsin
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Notwithstanding code, here in WI it's state law to have at least one of each (smoke & CO) alarm on each occupancy level. And since they were code required, smoke alarms are required in each bedroom and in the common area outside the bedrooms. It surprises me that CA would "pigeon-hole" the terminology to just "hallway." The common area might me a living room, dining room or whatever.

    When my clients ask where to mount the devices (wall, ceiling, low, high????), I go with the KISS principle...... I tell them to "Mount the alarm where the manufacturer says to mount it because that is the location for which it is UL Listed."


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    High Springs, Florida
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    From HUD...

    ? 3280.208 Smoke alarm requirements.
    (a) Labeling. Each smoke alarm required
    under paragraph (b) of this section
    must conform with the requirements
    of UL 217, Single and Multiple
    Station Smoke Alarms, dated January
    4, 1999 (incorporated by reference, see
    ? 3280.4), or UL 268, Smoke Detectors
    for Fire Protective Signaling Systems,
    dated January 4, 1999 (incorporated by
    reference, see ? 3280.4), and must bear a
    label to evidence conformance.
    (b) Required smoke alarm locations. (1)
    At least one smoke alarm must be installed
    in each of the following locations:
    (i) To protect both the living area
    and kitchen space. Manufacturers are
    encouraged to locate the alarm in the
    living area remote from the kitchen
    and cooking appliances. A smoke
    alarm located within 20 feet horizontally
    of a cooking appliance must
    incorporate a temporary silencing feature
    or be of a photoelectric type.
    (ii) In each room designed for sleeping.
    (iii) On the ceiling of the upper level
    near the top or above each stairway,
    other than a basement stairway, in any
    multistory home completed in accordance
    with this part or part 3282 of this
    chapter. The alarm must be located so
    that smoke rising in the stairway cannot
    be prevented from reaching the
    alarm by an intervening door or obstruction.
    (2) For each home designed to be
    placed over a basement, the manufacturer
    must provide a smoke alarm for
    the basement and must install at the
    factory an electrical junction box for
    the installation of this smoke alarm
    and for its interconnection to other
    smoke alarms required by this section.
    The instructions for installers and information
    for homeowners required in
    paragraph (f) of this section must
    clearly indicate that a smoke alarm
    should be installed and is to be located
    on the basement ceiling near the stairway.
    (3) A smoke alarm required under
    this section must not be placed in a location
    that impairs its effectiveness or
    in any of the following locations:
    (i) Within 3 feet horizontally from
    any discharge grille when a home is
    equipped or designed for future installation
    of a roof-mounted evaporative
    cooler or other equipment discharging
    conditioned air through a ceiling grille
    into the living space; and
    (ii) In any location or environment
    that is prohibited by the terms of its
    listing, except as permitted by this section.
    (c) Mounting requirements. (1) Except
    in rooms with peaked sloping or shed
    sloping ceilings with a slope of more
    than 1.5/12 or as permitted pursuant to
    paragraph (e) of this section, smoke
    alarms must be mounted either:
    (i) On the ceiling at least 4 inches
    from each wall; or
    (ii) On a wall with the top of the
    alarm not less than 4 inches below the
    ceiling, and not farther from the ceiling
    than 12 inches or the distance from
    the ceiling specified in the smoke
    alarm manufacturer?s listing and instructions,
    whichever is less.
    (2) Except as permitted pursuant to
    paragraph (e) of this section, in rooms
    with peaked sloping ceilings with a
    slope of more than 1.5/12, smoke alarms
    must be mounted on the ceiling within
    3 feet, measured horizontally, from the
    peak of the ceiling; at least 4 inches,
    measured vertically, below the peak of
    the ceiling; and at least 4 inches from
    any projecting structural element.
    (3) Except as permitted pursuant to
    paragraph (e) of this section, in rooms
    with shed sloping ceilings with a slope
    of more than 1.5/12, smoke alarms must
    be mounted on the ceiling within 3
    feet, measured horizontally, of the high
    side of the ceiling, and not closer than
    4 inches from any adjoining wall surface
    and from any projecting structural
    element.
    (d) Connection to power source. (1)
    Each smoke alarm must be powered
    from:
    (i) The electrical system of the home
    as the primary power source and a battery
    as a secondary power source; or
    (ii) A battery rated for a 10-year life,
    provided the smoke alarm is listed for
    use with a 10-year battery.
    (2) Each smoke alarm whose primary
    power source is the home electrical
    system must be mounted on an electrical
    outlet box and connected by a
    permanent wiring method to a general
    electrical circuit. More than one
    smoke alarm is permitted to be placed
    on the same electrical circuit. The wiring
    circuit for the alarm must not include
    any switches between the overcurrent
    protective device and the
    alarm, and must not be protected by a
    ground fault circuit interrupter.
    (3) Smoke alarms required under this
    section must be interconnected such
    that the activation of any one smoke
    alarm causes the alarm to be triggered
    in all required smoke alarms in the
    home.
    (e) Visible and tactile notification appliances.
    (1) In addition to the smoke
    alarms required pursuant to this section,
    the manufacturer must provide
    visible and listed tactile notification
    appliances if these appliances are ordered
    by the purchaser or retailer before
    the home enters the first stage of
    production. These appliances are required
    to operate from the primary
    power source, but are not required to
    operate from a secondary power source.
    (2) A visible notification appliance in
    a room designed for sleeping must have
    a minimum rating of 177 candela, except
    that when the visible notification
    appliance is wall-mounted or suspended
    more than 24 inches below the ceiling,
    a minimum rating of 110 candela is permitted.
    (3) A visible notification appliance in
    an area other than a room designed for
    sleeping must have a minimum rating
    of 15 candela.
    (f) Testing and maintenance.
    (1) Each required smoke alarm installed at the
    factory must be operationally tested,
    after conducting the dielectric test
    specified in ? 3280.810(a), in accordance
    with the alarm manufacturer?s instructions.
    A smoke alarm that does not
    function as designed during the test
    and is not fixed so that it functions
    properly in the next retest must be replaced.
    Any replacement smoke alarm
    must be successfully tested in accordance
    with this paragraph.
    (2) Home manufacturers must provide
    specific written instructions for installers
    on how to inspect and test the operation of smoke alarms during installation
    of the home. These instructions
    must indicate that any smoke
    alarm that does not meet the inspection
    or testing requirements needs to
    be replaced and retested.
    the homeowner with the alarm manufacturer?s
    information describing the
    operation, method and frequency of
    testing, and proper maintenance of the
    smoke alarm. This information must
    be provided in same manner and location
    as the consumer manual required
    by ? 3282.207 of this chapter, but does
    not have to be incorporated into the
    consumer manual. No dealer, distributor,
    construction contractor, or
    other person shall interfere with the
    distribution of this information.


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    In California, Smoke alarm are required to be in certain places. "install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallways leading to the bedrooms, and on each level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4" from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12" from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents.)."

    My question is regarding Mobile homes and what others comment on, as most of my mobile home have 2 bedrooms on 1 end with a small hallway but it is still a hallway, so that is a given that they need both CO and Smoke alarm there, however on the other end of the home there is another bedroom which accesses directly from a family room with no hallway. I suggest placing a Smoke and CO alarm outside the door in the family room...what do you recommend ?
    Very Simple; since 2011 all Mobile homes require smoke alarms in all bedrooms. Just do it.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Mobile homes are not built under the building code, mobile homes are built under the HUD code, so building or fire code would not apply to mobile homes.

    And, I am not familiar with the HUD code, many others here are.
    Here in MN we have a few state laws that are in addition to whatever building codes may or may not require. These laws use the term "All dwellings shall..." or something similar. A mobile home is defined as a dwelling here in MN and all dwellings shall have both smoke and CO alarms.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    Here in MN we have a few state laws that are in addition to whatever building codes may or may not require. These laws use the term "All dwellings shall..." or something similar. A mobile home is defined as a dwelling here in MN and all dwellings shall have both smoke and CO alarms.
    Your In Minnesota, we are talking California. The question was for smoke detectors, nothing mentioned about CO. CO is always required as well as Smoke detectors here. If I am understanding correctly the question was pertaining to California, but sounds like everywhere. Thanks

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kading View Post
    Your In Minnesota, we are talking California. The question was for smoke detectors, nothing mentioned about CO. CO is always required as well as Smoke detectors here. If I am understanding correctly the question was pertaining to California, but sounds like everywhere. Thanks
    With Stick built, everywhere basically they are required. No doubt. But Mobile homes were the topic and they were the first to have the smoke and co requirements then stick built followed.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Smoke Alarm Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by William Kading View Post
    Your In Minnesota, we are talking California. The question was for smoke detectors, nothing mentioned about CO. CO is always required as well as Smoke detectors here. If I am understanding correctly the question was pertaining to California, but sounds like everywhere. Thanks

    - - - Updated - - -



    With Stick built, everywhere basically they are required. No doubt. But Mobile homes were the topic and they were the first to have the smoke and co requirements then stick built followed.
    Understood - however the OP did indeed mention CO alarms. I was mostly responding to the inferred notion that just cuz the codes may not require something doesn't necessarily me it isn't required.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

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