Smoke Detector Requirements

FROM  THE RHODE ISLAND STATE FIRE MARSHAL
 

Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Rules and Regulations

 

ONE & TWO FAMILY DWELLINGS SMOKE ALARMS

* As of February 20, 2004 all new residential construction requires AC-powered hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back up in the following areas:

Inside each bedroom

Outside each bedroom area

On each habitable level including the basement

At the bottom of the basement stairs

* In addittion, interconnected heat detector (s) shall be installed in all integral or attached garages in dweilling units permitted or constructed after February 20, 2004.

* Wireless smoke detectors shall be allowed as part of an approved system or panel and provided that such system meets all the audilbe requirements.

* Existing construction prior to June, 1976 are permitted to maintain the previously required single-station battery-operated smoke alarms. These detectors shall be located outside the bedroom areas and on each level including the basement.

* Existing construction permitted after June, 1976 are required to maintain the previously required AC-powered smoke alarms and they should be hardwired and interconnected. These detecors shall be located outside the bedroom areas and on each level including the basement.

* Existing construction permitted after June, 1992 are required to maintain the previously required AC-powered smoke alarms with battery back-up and they should be hardwired and interconnected. These detectors shall be located outside the bedroom areas and on each level, including the basement.


ONE & TWO FAMILY DWELLINGS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) DETECTORS

* All new residential (including apartments and condominiums) require hardwired, interconnected CO alarms with battery back up outside the bedroom areas. 

* In addition, the local authority having jurisdiction may require additional smoke or CO coverage in rooms or living areas having pull out sofas or other means of sleeping arrangements if in his/her judgement the room may be used for sleeping quarters on a regular or intermittent basis. 

* Any dwelling permitted after January 1, 2002 shall be required to have hardwired interconnected CO alarms with battery back-up. 

* All other existing construction shall be allowed to have battery operated CO alarms. Plug in units are not allowed. 

* Exception Dwellings that do not contain any fuel burning appliances, a fireplace or an attached or integrated garage are exempt from CO requirements. If any of these items are introduced later, then detection is required. 

 

PLACEMENT OF SMOKE AND CO ALARMS 

* Ceiling mounted: At least 4 inches from any adjoining wall surface.

* Wall mounted: Between 4 inches and 12 inches from the ceiling.

* Peaked or sloped ceilings: Within 36 inches of the peak or the high side of the slope, but no closer than 4 inches vertically or from an adjoining wall surface.

* Detectors shall not be installed within 36 inches of heating or cooling registers, the tip of a ceilng paddle fan, a kitchen door or a bathroom containing a tub or shower.

* Detectors within 20 foot horizontal path of a cooking appliance shall be equipped with an alarm-silencing means or be of the photo electric type detector.

* Where stairs lead to other occupiable levels, a smoke alarm or smoke detector shall be located so that smoke rising in the stairway cannot be prevented from reaching the smoke alarm by an intervening door or obstruction.

* For stairways leading up from a basement, smoke alarms or smoke detectors shall be located on the basement ceiling near rthe entry to the stairs.

* Near the first bedroom door in a hallway closest to the living area.

* Carbon Monoxide detectors shall be installed as per the manufacturers recomendations outside each sleeping area. 

 

OTHER FACTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

* All detectors and devices shall be installed according to the manufacturers recomendations

* Smoke alarms shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of installation unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. 

* It shall be the responsibilty of the owner to maintain in operable condition, smoke and carbon monoxide detection systems, installed as pursuant to this chapter, and the owner shall make operable within 7 days after being notified by certified mail by the occupant and/or enforcement official, any inoperable system.

* The cost of the inspection ($ 30.00) shall be borne by the seller.

* Owners of exiting residential properties, previously required to install smoke detectors, shall maintain these detectors in good operating condition.

* The above smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may be installed as either separate or combination units approved by the AHJ

* The fire department for the community in which the dwelling is located should inspect the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within 10 business days of a request from the owner.

* Once received Smoke and CO certificates are good for 120 days.

* It is recomended that you have your inspection scheduled at least 2 weeks before your closing to allow time for any necessary  corrections.