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Is there a Florida law that all older homes must have smoke alarms, regardless of when they were built?
Thursday, March 21, 2019
No, everyone is not required by Florida law to have smoke alarms in their homes—even though that's an excellent idea. There has been some confusion, because a Florida statute that went into effect a few years ago requires that, when replacing any existing battery-powered smoke alarm that has a replaceable battery, or installing a new battery-powered smoke alarm, the new smoke alarm must only have a 10-year non-replaceable battery. No more smoke alarms with replaceable batteries are allowed. But it does not mean that every home is mandated to a smoke alarm.
Here’s the text of of the new Florida Statute, effective 1/1/2015, which is also in the Florida Building Code, Existing Buildings, at 603.2, with the relevant text underlined :
553.883 Smoke alarms in one-family and two-family dwellings and townhomes.
—One-family and two-family dwellings and townhomes undergoing a repair, or a level 1 alteration as defined in the Florida Building Code, may use smoke alarms powered by 10-year nonremovable, nonreplaceable batteries in lieu of retrofitting such dwelling with smoke alarms powered by the dwelling’s electrical system. Effective January 1, 2015, a battery-powered smoke alarm that is newly installed or replaces an existing battery-powered smoke alarm must be powered by a nonremovable, nonreplaceable battery that powers the alarm for at least 10 years. The battery requirements of this section do not apply to a fire alarm, smoke detector, smoke alarm, or ancillary component that is electronically connected as a part of a centrally monitored or supervised alarm system.
To learn more, go to our blog post What does the new Florida smoke alarm law require?
Also, see our blog posts Is it illegal to disconnect a smoke alarm? and Where should smoke alarms NOT be installed? and Does pushing the test button on a smoke alarm test the smoke sensor device inside? and Can the smoke sensors in a home security/fire alarm system replace the smoke alarms required by the building code?
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