Community Assistance News

An amendment to the city housing code that requires smoke detectors in all bedrooms will take effect Feb. 18. The amendment also requires a smoke detector on every floor of a house.

The requirement applies to new as well as existing houses, apartments and condominiums. The City Council passed the amendment Aug. 18, 2008, with the provision that it would not take effect for 18 months.

As of Feb. 18, the housing code requires “each room designated for sleeping purposes, or used for sleeping more than occasionally, or listed as a bedroom on a set of plans and each story, excluding crawl space and attic space, shall be required to contain a smoke detector located on the ceiling and no closer than 12 inches to the intersection of the wall and the ceiling.”

Battery-powered smoke detectors are acceptable. They are available at home-improvement and hardware stores starting at under $10.

Ritchie Brooks, the director of neighborhood services, said, “If a fire starts at night inside a bedroom with the door closed, it can be too late before enough smoke seeps out to activate a smoke alarm in the hall.

“This amendment brings the city code closer to the state building code, which also requires smoke detectors in all bedrooms and on every floor. However, unlike the state building code, we are not requiring that homeowners hard-wire the detectors into their home electrical system.” The state building code applies to new construction.

For more information go to Neighborhood Services web page or call City Link at 727-8000.


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