Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are the most important device you can have in your home. They provide essential early warning of a problem so you and your family can safely escape.
Vermont law has required smoke detectors (alarms) to be installed in single-family dwellings since 1994. Smoke alarms have been required to be installed in multi-family and rental dwellings for more than 30 years. In spite of these requirements, and the general public’s awareness about the value of smoke alarms, one common factor in most fatal fires is the lack of properly installed, and working, smoke alarms. Fire is fast. More than one smoke alarm is needed in most dwelling units to make sure that people can hear the alarm and have time to escape. Smoke alarms need to be properly installed, maintained and replaced when needed, and the type of smoke alarm is also important.
Smoke Alarm Rules and Requirements
Owner – Occupied Single Family Free Standing Dwellings
The requirements for smoke alarms in owner-occupied single family dwelling come out of state law. Vermonts smoke alarm law has required smoke detectors (alarms) to be installed in single-family dwellings since 1994. A working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are the most important device you can have in your home. It provides essential early warning of a problem so you and your family can safely escape.
Fire is fast. Smoke alarms need to be properly installed, maintained and replaced when needed to make sure that people can hear the alarm and have time to escape in an emergency. Vermont law requires the seller of a single-family dwelling, whether the transfer by sale or exchange, to certify to the buyer at the closing of the transaction that the dwelling is provided with one or more photoelectric smoke detectors and one or more carbon monoxide detectors.
Information and Forms
Code Info Sheets -
Rental Units, Condos and Multi Family Dwellings or other Residential Buildings
The requirements for smoke alarms in Rental Units, Condos and Multi Family Dwellings or other residential buildings come out of Vermont fire and building safety codes. The Vermont fire and building safety code applies to “public buildings” that include any condominiums or multiple unit dwelling using a common roof, or row houses so-called, or other residential buildings in which people sleep, including hotels, motels, and tourist homes, whether the units are owned or leased or rented. excluding single family owner-occupied houses and premises. When a rental or multi family dwelling are being sold most banks and lawyers are now requiring an up to date fire safety code inspection be performed by officials.
Information and Forms
Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code General provisions law 20 V.S.A. §2729(d)
Code Info Sheets -
Requirements for Photoelectric Alarms
Act 180 of the 2008 Legislative Session established new requirements for the use of photoelectric smoke alarms Photoelectric-only type of smoke alarms are required to be installed in the vicinity of any bedrooms and on each level of a dwelling, and directly wired to the building electrical service and have a battery backup for all new dwellings. Dwellings that are sold or transferred are required to beginning January 1, 2009.
The law allows the use of photoelectric and carbon monoxide combination alarms but it does not allow ionization /photoelectric combination alarms to be used for these specific locations.
Many existing Vermont homes currently have old outdated ionization smoke alarms installed. These old alarms need to be replaced. The division recommends to homeowners that when you are replacing alarms that you update to a photoelectric smoke alarm now and not wait until the time when home is being sold. No home should be without smoke alarms, and ionization alarms should continue to be used until a home can be equipped with new photoelectric alarms.
Photoelectric Smoke Alarms Customer Information Sheet - for Display at Retail Sales Locations
Additional Information Resource links