It seems smoke detectors exist only to remind you that you suck at cooking. Although this may be true, they are a critical part of fire safety in your rental units. Changes in smoke detector laws are here, this is what you need to know:

(1) Last year SB 745 passed, making changes to smoke detector regulations effective this month.

(2) If a smoke detector becomes inoperable or if you receive a building permit for alterations, repairs, or additions, you must now use one of the following types of smoke detectors: (i) A hard-wired smoke detector with battery back-up or (ii) A traditional smoke detector that has a 10 year battery (non-hard-wired).

(3) Complying smoke detectors must also (i) display the manufacturing date, (ii) provide a place for the installation to be written, and (iii) incorporate a hush feature. Luckily for you landlords, manufacturers will be taking care of these requirements. Non-compliant models are no longer approved for sale in California.

(4) YOU DO NOT NEED TO REPLACE INSTALLED AND WORKING SMOKE DETECTORS. All caps for those of you having palpitations. If heart attack onset has occurred, try some Deer Antler Spray available on Amazon – unless you’re a Major League Baseball player, then try 911. If the battery dies, you can simply replace the battery.

(5) Landlords are now responsible for testing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in both multi-family and single-family residences. You cannot pass this responsibility on to the tenant.

There are a few exemptions to compliance that apply to very specific types of fire alarm systems. Check local regulations to confirm compliance.

Author Daniel

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