Can the smoke sensors in a home security/fire alarm system replace the smoke alarms required by the building code?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A residential security/fire alarm system can replace the smoke alarms required by the building code under these conditions: 

  1. Provides the same level of smoke detection and alarm as required by the building code for smoke alarms.
  2. Permanently installed and owned by the homeowner (not rented).
  3. Monitored by an approved supervising station and maintained in accordance with NFPA 72.

    “NFPA 72” is a national standard for fire alarm systems issued by the National Fire Protection Association and updated every three years. Here’s the full text of the applicable section of the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC):

    The International Residential Code (IRC) is similar, and the exception noted at the end of the citation above essentially indicates that a security/fire alarm system does not have to meet these standards if the code-required smoke alarm system remains in place.

    There are no test buttons on most security/fire alarm smoke sensors and, because home inspectors do not test or evaluate these systems, we cannot determine whether the sensors are still functional, whether the system is owned or rented, or if central system monitoring is active.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about SAFETY: 

• Are smoke alarms required to sell a house?

Is the door between an attached garage and the house required to have a closer (self-closing device)?

Can the smoke sensors in a home security/fire alarm system replace the smoke alarms required by the building code?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house? 

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

What is aging in place? 

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

Does pushing the test button on a smoke alarm test the smoke sensor device inside? 

What is the minimum height of a ceiling fan above the floor?

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the kitchen? 

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard? 

Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

What can I do to avoid kitchen accidents and injuries?

Where are smoke alarms required to be located? 

Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in homes in Florida?

Are old vinyl tile floors dangerous?  

How can I use safety checks to limit my tenant liability for a rental house?

Do you inspect for trip hazards around the home? 

When should I replace my smoke alarms?

• Why is an anti-tip device now required behind the range? 

• What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
    Visit our SAFETY page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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