Fire Safety Information

Every season, remember to change your clocks (Spring Forward / Fall Back) and smoke detector batteries and carbon monoxide detector batteries at the same time.

Guidelines for Installing a New Smoke Detector

The following are the regulations for smoke detectors as laid out in the Fire Prevention Code 1610.04.

Fire extinguisher

1610.05 Smoke Detectors

(a) Definition Of Terms Used In This Section

  • Dwelling Unit: A room, or suite of rooms, in a structure which is used as a single housekeeping unit, and shall apply regardless of the amount of time the unit is to be occupied by any single occupant or group of occupants, and also includes any structure containing one such dwelling unit, including owner occupied, single-family dwelling units.
  • Efficiency Apartment: Any dwelling unit consisting of one room.
  • Sleeping Area: A room or combination of rooms intended or used for sleeping, within a dwelling unit which is located on the same level of a structure and not separated by another habitable room, not including bathrooms, hallways or closets, from areas where cooking or heating units are located or areas where combustible materials are stored.
  • Smoke Detector: A device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion through use of ionization chambers or photoelectric process, and which emits an audible sound or other warning when such particles are present, sufficient to warn occupants regardless of handicap or disability. The power supply of such a device may be AC or DC. However, if the power supply is AC: 1) it must have a DC back-up power supply, and 2) it shall not have any switch or control between the smoke detector and the electrical supply box, except that required for circuit protection. If more than one detector is required in a dwelling, they shall be wired so that activation of any one detector within the dwelling shall activate all other detectors within the dwelling. (Ordinance 4080-5-87. Passed May 4, 1987; Ordinance 4289-9-89. Passed September 5, 1989)
Firefighters in a line holding hose

(b) Detectors Required

The owner of any structure containing dwelling unit(s) shall install at least one smoke detector to protect each sleeping area in each dwelling unit. In an efficiency apartment, the owner shall install one smoke detector in the sleeping area. In all other dwelling units, the owner shall install one smoke detector outside each sleeping area, but within the immediate vicinity of the sleeping area. (Ordinance 4080-5-87. Passed May 4, 1987)

(c) Owner Responsibility

It shall be the responsibility of the owner of said dwelling units to supply and install all required detectors. The owners shall be responsible for making reasonable efforts to test and maintain detectors in common stairwells and hallways. It shall be the responsibility of a tenant to test and to provide general maintenance for the detectors within the tenant's dwelling unit, and to notify the owner or authorized agent of the owner, in writing, of any deficiencies which the tenant cannot correct. The owner shall be responsible for providing one tenant per dwelling unit with written information regarding detector testing and maintenance. The owner shall provide oral instructions in addition to any written information regarding detector testing and maintenance for any such tenant who does not read or understand such written information.

The tenant shall be responsible for replacement of any required batteries in the detectors in the tenant's dwelling unit, except that the owner shall ensure that such batteries are in operating condition at the time the tenant takes possession of the dwelling unit. The tenant shall provide the owner or the authorized agent of the owner with access to the dwelling unit to correct any deficiencies in the smoke detector which have been reported to the owner or his authorized agent.

The tenant shall inform the owner, or his authorized agent, in writing, of any deficiency in any detector required under this Section which the tenant cannot correct. (Ordinance 4289-9-89. Passed September 5, 1989)

(d) Location

Smoke detectors shall be installed, preferably on ceilings, no less than four inches (4") from any side wall to the nearest edge of the smoke detector's housing. In areas where the smoke detector is mounted upon a wall, it shall be mounted within four to twelve inches (4" to 12") from the ceiling to the nearest point on the smoke detector's housing. In every installation, care shall be exercised to place the smoke detector where it is in the optimum position for the earliest practical warning to occupants of the dwelling unit. (Ordinance 4080-5-87. Passed May 4, 1987)

(e) Tampering Prohibited

No occupant, owner or other person shall tamper with, remove, destroy, disconnect, or remove the batteries from any installed smoke detector, except in the course of inspection, maintenance, or replacement of the detector, provided that inspection, maintenance, or replacement is completed in an expedient manner.

(f) Newly Built Or Remodeled Dwellings

All dwelling units which are newly constructed, reconstructed or substantially remodeled after September 15, 1989, shall have smoke detector units permanently wired into the structure's AC power line with DC (battery) back-up beginning on the first day of occupancy. (Ordinance 4289-9-89. Passed September 5, 1989)

(g) Inspection

The Fire Chief or his designated representative shall have jurisdiction to inspect dwelling units for the proper installation of any smoke detectors required to be installed under this Chapter. Said inspections may be conducted without notice and may be prompted by the request or complaint of any owner or occupant.

(h) Time Limit For Compliance

(1.) Any new construction, for which an appropriate building permit has yet to issue, which would be subject to this Section, shall comply with this Chapter prior to occupancy by any person(s), even on a temporary basis. (2.) The owner of any structure containing dwelling units already occupied or for which building permits have already been issued shall comply with this Section within forty five (45) days.

(i) Violation, Penalty

Violation of this Section shall carry the following fine as penalty: (1.) For failure to install a smoke detector(s), a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for each separate offense. (2.) For failure to maintain, repair or replace any installed smoke detector which is defective, does not function properly, in need of repair or which otherwise does not emit an audible sound or warning sufficient to warn occupants, regardless of handicap or disability, a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for each such smoke detector; each day such a condition exists shall constitute a separate offense. (3.) For violation of subsection (e) of this Section, a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each such smoke detector which is rendered inoperable or incapable of emitting a warning, for each day such a condition exists, it shall constitute a separate offense. (Ordinance 4080-5-87. Passed May 4, 1987)