Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector Regulations

Carbon Monoxide Alarms - What You Need to Know

On April 7, 2003, New Jersey adopted regulations for the installation of Carbon Monoxide Alarms in the vicinity of all sleeping areas in buildings that contain fuel burning appliances or have an attached garage.  CO Detectors should not be placed in the garage or utility rooms.  This subjects the CO detector to normal emissions that could cause the detector to activate even though there is no emergency.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms should be installed within 10 feet of any sleeping areas so they will be audible in each bedroom. Multiple carbon monoxide alarms may be necessary to accomplish this requirement. The use of a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector are allowed to fulfill the requirement.

Carbon monoxide alarms may be battery type (10-year battery), A/C plug-in type with 10-year battery backup (no removable batteries) and shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL-2034 and installed in accordance with NFPA-720.

Smoke DetectorSmoke Detectors - What You Need to Know

Smoke detector requirements vary because of code changes adopted over the past years. At a minimum, homes built prior to January 1977, require battery detectors to be installed. One on each level and outside of each sleeping area usually with 10 feet of any bedroom doors. The use of a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector is allowed to fulfill the requirement.  See our FAQ section for additional info, there are answers to some of the common questions we have been asked.

  • Any detector that is older than 10-years old must be replaced under this requirement. Due to recent events with hardwired detectors not being updated or maintained, the new hardwired lithium 10-year battery backup devices need to be used, even if they are less than 10-years old..  Do not use a detector with a removable battery going forward.  Less headache and eliminates the need to replace the battery twice-a-year.
  • As of January 1, 2019, 10-year sealed battery-powered alarms shall be installed in accordance with ANSI/UL 217.  All buildings built prior to 1977, without hardwired detectors, must have at a minimum these types of detectors.
  • Any building constructed after January 1977 needs to meet the requirements of the code at the time the building was constructed. If the code only required hard wired smoke detectors on one or two floors, hardwired detectors need to be installed on each floor. However, A/C-powered single or multiple-station smoke alarms installed as part of the original construction or rehabilitation project SHALL NOT be replaced with battery-only powered smoke alarms.  The 10-year sealed battery-powered hardwired devices are to be installed, the use of devices that have AA or 9V batteries should be discontinued from use.  Mixing and matching these types with the new 10-year device will cause problems and false alarms.  The 10-year battery device eliminates having to replace the batteries twice a year and the power light goes off on the one that activates.
  • All battery-operated only smoke detectors and hardwired detectors that have AA or 9v batteries must be replaced with the sealed battery requirement mentioned above.
  • Smoke and CO detectors should not be placed in the kitchen and CO detectors should be placed in utility rooms, this could cause a false nuisance alarm due to the fact that they get oversaturated by the normal emission of the gas fired applicances. If the kitchen is in close proximity to a bedroom, the use of a photoelectric smoke detector is best and be at least 10 feet from the appliance.  The ionization type of detector should not be installed in the kitchen area, since it is more susceptible to nuisance alarms.
  • All installed systems must be maintained at all times (IFC 907.11)

Low Voltage Fire Alarm Systems - What You Need to Know

All low voltage fire alarm systems that are monitored by a central notification station must be maintained in accordance with NFPA 72 and the homeowner must provide a system test report at the time of inspection. Failure to provide a system test report that shows no deficiencies will be cause for failure and a re-inspection will be needed.  In order to have a valid test, the system still needs to be monitored by the central notification system.  If the monitoring was cancelled, it needs to be reinstated for a test to be compliant.

Fire Extinguisher in the BoxFire Extinguishers

Starting January 1, 2006, Mahwah Fire Prevention began enforcing the adopted state requirements (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-198.1) for fire extinguishers in one- and two-family dwellings along with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at the change of occupancy.

The requirements for extinguisher type and placement are as follows (N.J.A.C 5:70-4.19(e)):

  • At least one portable fire extinguisher shall be installed in all one and two family dwellings upon change of occupancy.
  • The extinguisher shall be listed, labeled, charged and operable.
  • The size shall be no smaller than 2A-10B:C, rated for residential use and weighs no more than 10 lbs.
  • The hangers or brackets supplied by the manufacturer must be used.
  • The extinguisher must be within 10 feet of the kitchen and located in the path of egress.
  • The top of the extinguisher must be no more than 5 feet above the floor.
  • The extinguisher must be readily accessible location and not obstructed from view.
  • The owner’s manual or written information regarding the operation shall be provided during the inspection
  • The extinguisher shall be serviced and tagged within the past 12 months or the seller must have a receipt for a recently purchased extinguisher.