2.10 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Effective June 2012, the West Virginia legislature amended W.Va. Code §29-3-16a of the Fire Prevention and Control Act. Under this law, as amended, an operational smoke detector must be installed in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area in all one and two family dwellings. The detector must meet the specifications of and be installed in accordance with the current edition of the National Fire Prevention Association Standard 72. When activated the alarm must be loud enough to warn the occupants of the dwelling of the danger of a fire. W.Va. Code §29-3-16a(a).

It is the responsibility of the owner of the dwelling to install and replace operational smoke detectors, however, it is the duty of the tenant to perform routine maintenance on the smoke detectors. W.Va. Code §29-3-16a (b). If the tenant of a unit is deaf or hearing impaired, it is the responsibility of the owner, upon written request by or on behalf of the tenant, to provide and install a smoke detector with a light signal sufficient to warn the deaf or hearing-impaired individual of the danger of fire. W.Va. Code §29-3-16a(c). A properly installed, automatic fire sprinkler system may be provided instead of smoke detectors. W.Va. Code §29-3-16a(d).

Effective September 1, 2012, a carbon monoxide detector or a combination detector meeting state law specifications must be installed, maintained, tested, repaired, or replaced, as necessary, in either a common area where the general public has access to or all rooms in which a person will be sleeping which are adjoining to, directly below, or directly above all areas or rooms which contain permanently installed fuel-burning appliances and equipment that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion in all apartment buildings, boarding houses, dormitories, long-term care facilities, adult or child care facilities, assisted living facilities, one and two family dwellings intended to be rented or leased, hotels, and motels. W.Va. Code §29-3-16a(f)(3).

Effective January 1, 2013, the single station carbon monoxide detector or combination detector, where required by law must be hardwired into an alternating current (AC) electrical source with a battery backup. W.Va. Code §29-3-16a (g).

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