EXCERPTS FROM CODES AND STANDARDS
your convenience we have posted excerpts from some of the most widely used standards and national electrical & building codes referencing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Please note that these are only excerpts, and you must consult all local and national building codes and AHJ's (Authority having Jurisdiction) before beginning any installations.
AGENCY PLACEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
Standards: ANSI/UL 217 Single and Multiple Station Smoke Alarms.
NFPA 72 (National Fire Code) Chapter 11
For your information, the National Fire Protection Association's Standard 72, reads as follows:
11.5.1 One- and Two-Family Dwelling Units.
18.104.22.168 Smoke Detection. Where required by applicable laws, codes, or standards for the specified occupancy, approved single-station and multiple-station Smoke Alarms shall be installed as follows: (1) In all sleeping rooms Exception: Smoke Alarms shall not be required in sleeping rooms in existing one- and two-family dwelling units. (2) Outside of each separate sleeping area, in immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms. (3) On each level of the dwelling unit, including basements Exception: In existing one- and two family dwelling units, approved Smoke Alarms powered by batteries are permitted.
A.11.8.3 Are More Smoke Alarms Desirable?
The required number of Smoke Alarms might not provide reliable early warning protection for those areas separated by a door from the areas protected by the required Smoke Alarms. For this reason, it is recommended that the householder consider the use of additional Smoke Alarms for those areas for increased protection. The additional areas include the basement, bedrooms, dining room, furnace room, utility room, and hallways not protected by the required Smoke Alarms. The installation of Smoke Alarms in kitchens, unfinished attics, or garages is not normally recommended, as these locations occasionally experience conditions that can result in improper operation.
NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code) 2003 Excerpt from pages 101–80 to 81; 101-209
22.214.171.124 Smoke Alarms.
126.96.36.199.1 Where required by another section of this Code, single-station and multiple-station smoke alarms shall be in accordance with NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm Code®. System smoke detectors in accordance with NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm Code®, and arranged to function in the same manner as single-station or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be permitted in lieu of smoke alarms.
188.8.131.52.2 Smoke alarms, other than battery-operated devices as permitted by other sections of this Code, or battery-operated devices complying with 184.108.40.206 and the low-power wireless system requirements of NFPA72®, National Fire Alarm Code®, shall receive their operating power from the building electrical system.
220.127.116.11.3* In new construction, where two or more smoke alarms are required within a dwelling unit, suite of rooms, or similar area, they shall be arranged so that operation of any smoke alarm shall cause the alarm in all smoke alarms within the dwelling unit, suite of rooms, or similar area to sound, unless otherwise permitted by the following:
(1) The requirement of 18.104.22.168.3 shall not apply where permitted by another section of this Code.
(2) The requirement of 22.214.171.124.3 shall not apply to configurations that provide equivalent distribution of the alarm signal.
126.96.36.199.4 The alarms shall sound only within an individual dwelling unit, suite of rooms, or similar area and shall not actuate the building fire alarm system, unless otherwise permitted by the authority having jurisdiction. Remote annunciation shall be permitted.
24.3.4 Detection, Alarm, and Communications Systems.
Smoke alarms or a smoke detection system shall be provided in accordance with either 188.8.131.52 or 184.108.40.206, as modified by 220.127.116.11.
18.104.22.168 Smoke alarms shall be installed in accordance with 22.214.171.124 in the following locations:
(1) All sleeping rooms in other than existing one- and two family dwellings
(2) Outside of each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms
(3) On each level of the dwelling unit, including basements
126.96.36.199 Dwelling units shall be protected by an approved smoke detection system in accordance with Section 9.6 and equipped with an approved means of occupant notification.
188.8.131.52 In existing one- and two-family dwellings, approved smoke alarms powered by batteries shall be permitted.
California State Fire Marshal (CSFM)
Early warning detection is best achieved by the installation of fire detection equipment in all rooms and areas of the household as follows: A Smoke Alarm installed in each separate sleeping area (in the vicinity, but outside bedrooms), and Heat or Smoke Alarms in the living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, hallways, finished attics, furnace rooms, closets, utility and storage rooms, basements, and attached garages.
REGULATORY INFORMATION FOR CO ALARMS
WHAT LEVELS OF CO CAUSE AN ALARM?
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Standard UL2034 requires residential CO Alarms to sound when exposed to levels of CO and exposure times as described below. They are measured in parts per million (ppm) of CO over time (in minutes). UL2034 Required Alarm Points*:
- If the alarm is exposed to 400 ppm of CO,
IT MUST ALARM BETWEEN 4 and 15 MINUTES.
- If the alarm is exposed to 150 ppm of CO,
IT MUST ALARM BETWEEN 10 and 50 MINUTES.
- If the alarm is exposed to 70 ppm of CO,
IT MUST ALARM BETWEEN 60 and 240 MINUTES. * Approximately 10% COHb
exposure at levels of 10% to 95% Relative Humidity (RH). The unit
is designed not to alarm when exposed to a constant level of 30
ppm for 30 days. CO Alarms are designed to alarm before there is
an immediate life threat. Since you cannot see or smell CO, never
assume it’s not present.
- An exposure to 100 ppm of CO for 20
minutes may not affect average, healthy adults, but after 4 hours
the same level may cause headaches.
- An exposure to 400 ppm of CO may cause headaches in average, healthy adults after 35 minutes, but can cause death after 2 hours.
Standards: Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Single and Multiple Station carbon monoxide alarms UL2034.
According to Underwriters Laboratories Inc. UL2034, Section 1-1.2: “Carbon monoxide alarms covered by these requirements are intended to respond to the presence of carbon monoxide from sources such as,but not limited to, exhaust from internal-combustion engines, abnormal operation of fuel-fired appliances, and fireplaces. CO Alarms are intended to alarm at carbon monoxide levels below those that could cause a loss of ability to react to the dangers of Carbon Monoxide exposure.” This CO Alarm monitors the air at the Alarm, and is designed to alarm before CO levels become life threatening. This allows you precious time to leave the house and correct the problem. This is only possible if Alarms are located, installed, and maintained as described in this manual.
Gas Detection at Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges: The CO Alarm is not formulated to detect CO levels below 30 ppm typically. UL tested for false alarm resistance to Methane (500 ppm), Butane (300 ppm), Heptane (500 ppm), Ethyl Acetate (200 ppm), Isopropyl Alcohol (200 ppm) and Carbon Dioxide (5000 ppm). Values measure gas and vapor concentrations in parts per million.
Audible Alarm: 85 dB minimum at 10 feet (3 meters).
REGULATORY INFORMATION FOR SMOKE ALARMS
RECOMMENDED LOCATIONS FOR SMOKE ALARMS
Installing Smoke Alarms in Single-Family Residences
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends one Smoke Alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In new construction, the Smoke Alarms must be AC powered and interconnected. See “Agency Placement Recommendations” for details. For additional coverage, it is recommended that you install a Smoke Alarm in all rooms, halls, storage areas, finished attics, and basements, where temperatures normally remain between 40° F (4° C) and 100° F (38° C). Make sure no door or other obstruction could keep smoke from reaching the Smoke Alarms. More specifically, install Smoke Alarms:
- On every level of your home, including
finished attics and basements.
- Inside every bedroom, especially if people
sleep with the door partly or completely closed.
- In the hall near every sleeping area. If
your home has multiple sleeping areas, install a unit in each. If
a hall is more than 40 feet long (12 meters), install a unit at
- At the top of the first-to-second floor stairway, and at the bottom of the basement stairway.
IMPORTANT! Specific requirements for Smoke Alarm installation vary from state to state and from region to region. Check with your local Fire Department for current requirements in your area. It is recommended AC or AC/DC units be interconnected for added protection.
INSTALLING SMOKE ALARMS IN MOBILE HOMES
For minimum security install one Smoke Alarm as close to each sleeping area as possible. For more security, put one unit in each room. Many older mobile homes (especially those built before 1978) have little or no insulation. If your mobile home is not well insulated, or if you are unsure of the amount of insulation, it is important to install units on inside walls only. Smoke Alarms should be installed where temperatures normally remain between 40° F (4° C) and 100° F (38° C).
IMPORTANT RELATED LINKS
International Code Council. The ICC founders - the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA), the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) - created the ICC in response to technical disparities among the three sets of model codes now in use in the U.S.A.
U.S. Census Bureau Construction Statistics www.worldsafety.com A global community center for safety professionals. The site contains an impressive collection of links to a wide variety of safety sites, including sites specializing in fire protection.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
International Association of Fire Chiefs. Established in 1873, the International Association of Fire Chiefs represents the leadership of over 1.2 million firefighters. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation.
Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA)
State Governments on the internet
HUD- US department of Housing & Urban Development
USFA - US Fire Marshall Administration
CSFM - California State Fire Marshall
MSFM - Maryland State Fire Marshall
MEA - New York City Building Code. The Materials, Equipment and Acceptance (MEA) Division was created to ensure that certain permanent building materials and appliances meet the minimum standards required in the Building Code, thus increasing the safety in all New York City Buildings.
Oregon State Fire Marshall
Rhode Island Fire Marshal’s Web Site
Rhode Island Fire Safety Code Web Site
Massachusetts State Fire Marshal