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New Smoke Detector Requirements for Pre-1975 Homes
Typical one- and two-family residences built before January 1, 1975:

Smoke detectors are required as follows:
  • On every habitable level of the residence.
  • On the ceiling at the base of each stairway.
  • On the ceiling outside of each separate sleeping area.
  • The smoke detectors may either be battery powered, hardwired or a combination of the two.
  • If the smoke detector is located within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower), the smoke detector will be required to be a photoelectric detector.
  • If the smoke detector is outside of 20 feet of a  kitchen or a bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower) you must utilize either:
  • A dual detector (containing both ionization and photoelectric technologies); OR
  • Two separate detectors (one photoelectric and one ionization).
  • Required to have dual detection.
  • Low voltage household warning systems are exempt from the dual detection requirement.
Carbon monoxide detectors are required as follows:
  • On every level of the residence, including habitable portions of basements and attics and must be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door.
  • Combination detectors (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide detector) may be used if the detector is within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower).
  • Combination detectors (ionization smoke and carbon monoxide detector) may be used if the detector is outside of 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower).
  • May be either: battery powered, plug-in with battery backup, hardwired with battery backup, or system type.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement on ceiling or wall.
Heat detectors are required as follows:
  • Heat detectors are not required in older homes unless renovation, addition or modification occurred after August 27, 1997.

House numbers must be permanently affixed to the house by either nails or screws and they must be clearly visible from the street.  House numbers affixed to doors or a mailbox alone do not meet this requirement.

For houses built or modified on or after January 1, 1975 go to our New Smoke Detector Requirements page.