smoke detector requirements.

stew

Senior Member
For you guys out there that understand the ubc 314 requirements. I have a building inspector (resi) that says whenever a permit is issued for a resi structure it triggers the requirement for new interwired smoke detectors ? The remodel was in the kitchen with a new island and counters,a partioned off wall to create a new little laundry nich, a partionioned wall to wall off a bedroom and create a new bathroom. No remodel has been done as far as ceiling removal etc especially in the areas where smokes would be required in any of the remodeled areas. . Nothing in the bedrooms,halls,living spaces,rec room etc etc. New windows and doors is all. How can they require a rewire and new circuit in a home built in the early 60s ? Especially when there was nothing done in the rooms that would now require detectors?
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Occupation
Retired PV System Designer
For you guys out there that understand the ubc 314 requirements. I have a building inspector (resi) that says whenever a permit is issued for a resi structure it triggers the requirement for new interwired smoke detectors ? The remodel was in the kitchen with a new island and counters,a partioned off wall to create a new little laundry nich, a partionioned wall to wall off a bedroom and create a new bathroom. No remodel has been done as far as ceiling removal etc especially in the areas where smokes would be required in any of the remodeled areas. . Nothing in the bedrooms,halls,living spaces,rec room etc etc. New windows and doors is all. How can they require a rewire and new circuit in a home built in the early 60s ? Especially when there was nothing done in the rooms that would now require detectors?
The local building code (not the electrical code based on the NEC) can require anything they want when a permit is issued as long as the base code requires it or they have properly passed local amendments.
Here in California they currently require upgraded low flow plumbing whenever a permit is pulled for any kind of work that requires a final inspection, regardless of the scale of the work or whether it has anything to do with plumbing.
Whether the issuance of any kind of permit triggers a smoke detector requirement to match current UBC seems to be a local option, and the only way I can see around it for you is if the ruling by the inspector is not properly based on the adopted codes in play.
Without knowing where you are and what codes are in force, it is hard to be more specific than that.
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
For you guys out there that understand the ubc 314 requirements. I have a building inspector (resi) that says whenever a permit is issued for a resi structure it triggers the requirement for new interwired smoke detectors ? The remodel was in the kitchen with a new island and counters,a partioned off wall to create a new little laundry nich, a partionioned wall to wall off a bedroom and create a new bathroom. No remodel has been done as far as ceiling removal etc especially in the areas where smokes would be required in any of the remodeled areas. . Nothing in the bedrooms,halls,living spaces,rec room etc etc. New windows and doors is all. How can they require a rewire and new circuit in a home built in the early 60s ? Especially when there was nothing done in the rooms that would now require detectors?
Cannot speak for the UBC but the IRC is worded as such;
R314.4 Power source. Smoke alarms shall receive their primary power from the building wiring when such wiring is served from a commercial source, and when primary power is interrupted, shall receive power from a battery. Wiring shall be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than those required for overcurrent protection. Smoke alarms shall be interconnected.
Exceptions:
1. Smoke alarms shall be permitted to be battery operated when installed in buildings without commercial power.
2. Interconnection and hard-wiring of smoke alarms in existing areas shall not be required where the alterations or repairs do not result in the removal of interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl space or basement available which could provide access for hard wiring and interconnection without the removal of interior finishes.

So do you have attics/basements/crawlspaces? Yes, smoke alarms & co detectors are required. We allow battery op & plug in if it is not feasable per code
 
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GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Occupation
Retired PV System Designer
And that quote does not seem to be clear about what is required of areas of the building where no work at all is done, rather than just work which does not involve wall or ceiling access.

Tapatalk!
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
And that quote does not seem to be clear about what is required of areas of the building where no work at all is done, rather than just work which does not involve wall or ceiling access.

Tapatalk!
I didn't copy the entire 314 section but the jest of the article would require SA/CO throughout the residence whether or not work was done. The specific section I copied was to show interconnection or hardwired was not required thru the exception.
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
Just may have to add a circuit and install these then. Its a rambler with a really small attic space. Need a small monkey. Anyone have one to loan me? lol.

Ask your inspector about feasability and here we will mark on the approved plans so that contractors know. I would also say if you have a stand alone electrical permit the the UBC you are held to may not apply. The AHU will have the final say though.
 

stew

Senior Member
I do have a permit to fix a bunch of issues that the homeowner and unlicensed guys did when they remodeled . Have to ensure the Tacoma inspector who does the electrical inspections for this juridiction that all is well and fix what isnt!. Now the building inspector has chimed in about smokies. Although of course the NEC does not have requirements the IRC does and thats what they are citing apparently. One thing just leads to another!!. The homeowner apparently took out a remodel permit. The building dept comes in and sees all the apparent electrical changes made and wont even inspect til the electrical is done. Electrical inspector comes and sees that the homeowner has now pulled his own permit to get this passed off and refuses to even inspect until a licensed contractor gets involved. SOOOO stupid me becomes that person and now the can of worms just gets bigger! lol I now have a proper permit to do this work and change whatever the goofball contractors and homeowner did . This is such a fun game!!
 
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gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
It's all up to the AHJ and local codes. In NJ it wouldn't be required unless the remodel was more that 50% of the floor area.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Do everything but the smokes and have the electrical inspector in to inspect. If he fails you, ask him what NEC code you are in violation of. Find out if he has the authority to do building inspections. If he doesn't, tell him that and call for the final building inspection.

If he fails you, ask him which IRC code you are violating. Then look up that code and see what the wording is.
 

arits74

Senior Member
Location
dixie arkansas
would he let you put in wireless smoke detectors?,we have a similar situation here and we are installing the wireless ones.one of them hardwires into 120 volts then the rest of them work off the hardwired one wirelessly.i had our supply house order them and dont remember the brand but 1 hardwired one and 4 wireless ones were $180.
 
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