Smoke, CO & Fire Extinguisher Regulation

Smoke Detector, Carbon Monoxide Detector & Fire Extinguisher Installation & Compliance Instructions

Smoke Detectors

Install and locate centrally on the ceiling of every level of a residence including the basement, first floor and attic space if finished. Detectors must be permanently mounted in the center of the ceiling within ten feet of the bedrooms. If for any reason the residence has bedrooms located more the ten feet away from each other, additional detectors may be needed.

Excluded is: 

  • Unfinished Attics and Crawl Spaces

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Install and locate one detector on every floor and in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping areas. Detectors must be permanently mounted to either a wall or ceiling.

Excluded is: 

  • Crawl spaces, unfinished basements and attics without fuel fired appliances.

Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Must be permanently mounted in the same fashion as the aforementioned smoke detector.

Fire Extinguisher

Install and locate in every kitchen within the dwelling. Extinguishers must be permanently mounted and visible within ten feet of the stove. Extinguishers must be 2.5 to 10 pounds, type ABC and fully charged.

Where Not to Locate Detectors

To avoid false alarms and/or improper operation, avoid installing smoke detectors in the following areas:

  1. Kitchens: smoke from cooking may cause a nuisance alarm.
  2. Bathrooms: excessive steam from shower may cause a nuisance alarm.
  3. By air ducts: ducts that are used for moving air for heating and air conditioning may prevent smoke from reaching the detector.
  4. Near furnaces of any type: air and dust movement and normal combustion products may cause a nuisance alarm.

Additional Information

  • If the dwelling has a hardwired smoke detector system, the electricity to the premise must be on and all detectors must be mounted and operating correctly (example: if one detector activates, all detectors on that system must also sound). If the system is monitor by a central station, the representative and/or owner must know how to operate the system correctly. 
    • Note: Battery power operated units can not replace hardwired detectors. Under no circumstance should the fire protection system of the dwelling be downgraded by replacing hardwired detectors with battery operated detectors.
  • All detectors and fire extinguishers must be permanently mounted and in working order prior to the day of inspection.
  • For further information about placement consult the National Fire Protection Association standard Number 74-1996 titled "National Fire Alarm Code". This publication may be obtained by writing to:
    Publication Sales Department
    National Fire Protection Association Batterymarch Park
    Quincy, MA 02269