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Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements

 

 Effective January 1, 2011, In accordance with the 2010 California Residential Code Sections R314 & R315, smoke alarms approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal, shall be installed in each sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms, and on each additional story of the dwelling.

 

What are the Requirements During
the Transfer of Property?

 

OWNER-OCCUPIED DWELLINGS – California Health & Safety Code Section 13113.8 requires that all single-family residences sold* after January 1, 1986 shall have smoke detectors. The seller is responsible for providing the buyer or buyer”s agent with a written statement indicating that the residence is equipped with operating smoke detectors at the time of sale.

To help you determine what type and how many detectors you need to be in compliance, you should contact your local city or county code compliance division or your local fire inspector.
(There are varying local code requirements by County and City.)

 

Generally the following items are appropriate to be in compliance with the latest safety codes and applies when transfer of property take place.

  1. The transferor or “Seller(s)” must notify the transferee or “Buyer(s)” that the property will be in compliance at closing. When the transfer of property takes place,the transferor of any real property containing a single-family dwelling, as described in subdivision (a), whether the transfer is made by sale, exchange, or real property sales contract, as defined in Section 2985 of the Civil Code, shall deliver to the transferee a written statement indicating that the transferor is in compliance with this section. The disclosure statement shall be either included in the receipt for deposit in a real estate transaction, an addendum attached thereto, or a separate document. (Example – CAR Form WHSD)
  2. In compliance with R314.3, and California Fire Code 907.2.11.2 smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:
  • In each sleeping room.
  • Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms.
  • On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

Can I save time and money by installing or replacing broken or missing detectors with battery-only operated Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors??

Again, you should contact your local city or county code compliance division or your local fire inspector.
There are varying local code requirements by County and City.
The following scenarios will most likely determine which kind and how many detector(s) you need.

 

These may or may not be a requirement depending on your local code requirements.

  • SCENARIO1 - In existing dwellings, alarms may be solely battery operated where alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for building wiring without the removal of interior finishes. This simply means a battery-only operated detector can be used if the property being transferred does not have an  attic, crawl space or basement available to run wire to power the detector. In this case you would have to remove/destroy sheet-rock, drill holes in walls, etc. to run the wires.  – Use of a battery-only operated detector is compliant in this case. “Interconnection” is not required in this case however, some units offer a wireless interconnection in which the activation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the property.

 

  • SCENARIO 2: If the property being transferred does have an attic, crawl space or basement available to run wire to power the detector, it must have detector(s) that receive their primary power from the building wiring where such wiring is served from a commercial source and shall be equipped with Wired Smoke Detectora battery back-up. This also means “Interconnection” is required Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed, the alarms shall be interconnected in such a manner that the activation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit.
    - Time to call that electrician …

Additional Information …

  • The replacement of smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in homes with pre-existing wiring for smoke detectors or carbon monoxide alarms shall continue to be maintained to receive their primary power from the building wiring where such wiring is served from a commercial source and shall be equipped with a battery back-up.
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms, approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal, shall be installed in existing dwellings or sleeping units that have attached garages or fuel-burning appliances as follows: outside each separate dwelling unit sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms and on every level of the dwelling unit including basements. In existing dwellings units a carbon monoxide alarm is permitted to be solely battery operated where repairs or alterations do not result in the removal of wall and ceiling finishes and there is no access by means of attic, basement or crawl space. Where more than one carbon monoxide alarm is required to be installed, the alarms shall be interconnected in a manner that activation of one alarm shall activate all of the alarms in the individual unit, except where repairs do not result in removal of wall or ceiling finishes and there is no access by means of attic, basement or crawls space for interconnection.
  • Multi-purpose alarms: Carbon monoxide alarms combined with smoke alarms shall comply with all applicable standards and requirements for listings and approval by the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

Additional Info: Proper Installation of Your CO Alarm …


* Sold:
The term “Sold” includes transfer of ownership in any form. (Sale, donation, transfer, trade, gift…)

*Interconnection:
Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed, the alarms shall be interconnected in such a manner that the activation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit, except where alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure or there is no attic or crawl space for interconnection.

Smoke Detector Placement

Sources:

California Fire Code 907.2.11.2

2010 California Residential Code

R-32 2010 CA Residential Code

California Civil Code 2985

R314.3 Location.

R314.4 Power source.

 

 
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