Smoke Detector Requirements All homes are required to have smoke alarms. In general, the requirements for smoke alarms vary depending on when the residence was constructed or underwent renovation, addition, or modification.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirements Since March 31, 2006, carbon monoxide alarms have been required in all residences that have either: fossil fuel burning equipment or an attached enclosed garage. This law applies to all such homes whether or not the residence is being sold or transferred.

Typical one- and two-family residences built before January 1, 1975
Smoke alarms are required as follows:
  • On every habitable level of the residence.
  • In the basement.
  • On the ceiling at the base of each stairway leading to a floor above including the basement (but not within stairways).
  • On the ceiling outside each separate sleeping area.
  • Must be photoelectric. (Can be in combination with ionization or carbon monoxide.)
  • May be battery-powered, hardwired, or a combination of both.
  • Smoke alarms cannot be more than 10 years old or exceed the manufacturer’s recommended life, whichever comes first.
  • In two-family dwellings, smoke alarms are required in common areas shared by residents.
  • New or Replacement alarms:
  • Must be photoelectric. (Can be in combination with ionization or carbon monoxide.)
  • Must contain a hush feature to silence nuisance alarms.
  • Battery-powered alarms must have 10-year, sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable batteries.
          








Carbon monoxide alarms are required as follows:
  • On every level of the residence, including habitable portions of basements and attics must be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door.
  • Combination alarms (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide alarms) may be used. 
  • Combination alarms must have both a tone and simulated voice alarm to distinguish the type of emergency.
  • May be either: battery-powered, plug-in with battery backup, hardwired with battery backup, or system type.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement.


Typical one- and two-family residences permitted between 1975 and August 27, 1997

Smoke alarms are required as follows:
  • One smoke alarm on every habitable level of the residence.
  • One smoke alarm on the ceiling at the base of each stairway.
  • One smoke alarm on the ceiling outside of each separate sleeping area.
  • A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level.
  • Must be hardwired interconnected smoke alarms.
Carbon monoxide alarms are required as follows:
  • On every level of the residence, including habitable portions of basements and attics must be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door.
  • Combination alarms (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide alarms) may be used anywhere.
  • Combination alarms (ionization smoke and carbon monoxide alarms) may be used if the alarm is more than 20 feet from a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower).
  • Combination alarms must have both a tone and simulated voice alarm to distinguish the type of emergency.
  • May be either: battery-powered, plug-in with battery backup, hardwired with battery backup, or system type.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement.
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Typical one- and two-family residences permitted after August 27, 1997

    Smoke alarms are required as follows:
    • One smoke alarm on every habitable level of the residence.
    • One smoke alarm at the base of each stairway.
    • One smoke alarm outside of each separate sleeping area.
    • One smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
    • A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level.
    • Must be hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup.
    • If the smoke alarm is within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower), the smoke alarm is required to be a photoelectric alarm.
    Carbon monoxide alarms are required as follows:
    • On every level of the residence, including habitable portions of basements and attics and must be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door.
    • Combination alarms (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide alarm) may be used anywhere.
    • Combination alarms (ionization smoke and carbon monoxide alarm) may be used if the alarm is more than 20 feet from a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower).
    • Combination alarms must have both a tone and simulated voice alarm to distinguish the type of emergency.
    • May be either: battery-powered, plug-in with battery backup, hardwired with battery backup, or system type.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement



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    Typical one- and two-family residences permitted on or after January 1, 2008

    Smoke alarms are required as follows:
    • One smoke alarm on every habitable level of the residence.
    • One smoke alarm at the base of each stairway.
    • One smoke alarm outside of each separate sleeping area.
    • One smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
    • A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level.
    • Must be hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms with battery backup.
    • If the smoke alarm is within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower), the smoke alarm is required to be a photoelectric alarm.
    • If the smoke alarm is more than 20 feet from a kitchen or a bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower), the 7 smoke alarm is required to be either a photoelectric alarm or a dual alarm (containing both ionization and photoelectric technologies).
    Carbon monoxide alarms are required as follows:
    • On every level of the residence, including habitable portions of basements and attics and located within 10 feet of each bedroom door..
    • Combination alarms (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide alarm) may be used.
    • Must be hardwired and interconnected with battery backup. (May be separately wired from the existing smoke detection system.)
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement.
    Heat alarms are required as follows:
    • Must have a single heat alarm in any garage attached to or under the residence.
    • Must be hardwired and interconnected with or without battery backup to the existing smoke detection system.
    • Heat alarms are not required in garages of older homes unless renovation, addition or modification occurs after Jan. 1, 2008.



    Typical one- and two-family residences permitted on or after February 4, 2011

    Smoke alarms are required as follows:
    • One smoke alarm on every habitable level of the residence.
    • One smoke alarm at the base of each stairway.
    • One smoke alarm outside of each separate sleeping area.
    • One smoke alarm inside every sleeping area.
    • A minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed for every 1,200 square feet of living space per level.
    • Must be hardwired and interconnected with battery backup.
    • All smoke alarms must be photoelectric.
    Carbon monoxide alarms are required as follows:
    • On every level of the residence, including basements and habitable portions of attics, and must be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door.
    • Combination alarms (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide alarms) may be used. Must be hardwired and interconnected with battery backup. (May be separately wired from the existing smoke detection system.)
    Heat alarms are required as follows:
    • Must have a single heat alarm in any garage attached to or under the residence.
    • Must be hardwired and interconnected with or without battery backup to the existing smoke detection system.
    • Heat alarms are not required in garages of older homes unless renovation, addition, or modification occurs after Jan. 1, 2008.




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