This inspection protocol specifies where smoke detectors should be located in dwelling units. Smoke detectors/alarms are required in dwelling units in the following locations:
- Inside each sleeping room (e.g., bedroom); and,
- Outside each sleeping room; and,
- Within 21 Feet of All Bedroom Doors; and,
- On every level of a dwelling unit, and
- “Not” within 10 feet of a cooking appliance;
- “Not” within Three feet of Ceiling Fans, Air Ducts, Exterior Doors, or Windows
Smoke detectors do not have to be hard-wired, and there are no design requirements for the type of alarm used at a property. However, there are specifications as to the location of each smoke alarm on a wall or ceiling:
- If mounted on the ceiling, it must be more than 4 inches from the wall.
- It cannot be closer than 4 inches or more than 12 inches from the ceiling if mounted on the wall.
- Smoke alarms should not be installed within 36” of windows, exterior doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
- Smoke alarms should not be painted or have stickers or other decorations present.
NSPIRE standards indicate that smoke alarms should not be installed “near” air drafts that might interfere with operation. For the purpose of this manual, NFPA 72 – 220.127.116.11 has been included which indicates “Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 36 in. (910 mm) horizontal path from the tip of the blade of a ceiling-suspendedded (paddle) fan.” Additionally, NFPA 72 A.18.104.22.168(6) indicates, “#6 Smoke alarms and detectors shall not be installed within a 36-inch horizontal path from the “supply registers” of a forced air heating and cooling system and shall be installed outside of the direct airflow from those registers.”
During an inspection, each smoke alarm should be physically tested to ensure the device tests as intended. If the property cannot demonstrate that the device works properly, it should be cited as inoperable.
As of December 29, 2024, all smoke detectors which are solely battery-operated will have to have sealed, tamper-proof batteries. It will not be an NSPIRE deficiency until that time.
|Def#||Deficiency||Severity||Repair Due||HCV Rating|
|1||Smoke alarm not installed in a sleeping room||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Smoke alarm not installed within 21’ of bedroom door||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Each level of a unit does not have at least one smoke alarm||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Any level of a Building missing at least one smoke alarm in the common area||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Ceiling-mounted smoke alarm less than 4in. from a wall||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Wall-mounted smoke alarm within 4in. of a ceiling||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Wall-mounted smoke alarm more than 12in. from a ceiling||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Smoke alarm installed closer than 10 feet from a cooking appliance||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|1||Smoke alarm installed within 36in. of windows, exterior doors, fans, or ducts||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|2||Smoke alarm painted or has stickers or other decorations present||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|2||Smoke alarm is obstructed||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|
|3||Smoke alarm does not produce an audio or visual alarm when tested||Life Threatening||24-Hours||Fail|