Vermont Smoke Detector

and Carbon Monoxide Regulations

for Single Family Dwellings

Vermont, and its queen city Burlington seem to update their rules about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors much more frequently than I update my website. The information presented here may be outdated. Contact me or a state fire marshal for the latest rules and regulations.

As of January 1, 2009, all new dwellings and dwellings that are sold or transferred need to have photoelectric-only type smoke detectors installed near bedrooms and on each floor of the dwelling. Many homes have ionization-style smoke detectors. If you have ionization-style smoke detectors, you will need to replace them prior to selling your home. The new requirement is in addition to the carbon monoxide alarm requirements that require CO detectors near all bedrooms in all new dwellings and dwellings that are sold or transferred. At the time of sale or transfer, home buyers and sellers must complete the Vermont smoke and carbon monoxide certificate of compliance.

The new ordinance reads:

S226 legislative council summery

This act reflects the findings of the general assembly that photoelectric-type smoke detectors provide earlier detection and warning than ionization-type smoke detectors in smoldering fires by tens of minutes. A person who constructs a single-family dwelling is required to install photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors in the vicinity of any bedrooms and on each level of the dwelling. Any single-family dwelling when transferred by sale or exchange is required to contain photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors in the vicinity of any bedrooms and on each level of the dwelling installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. A single-family dwelling constructed before January 1, 1994 may contain smoke detectors powered by the electrical service in the building or by battery, or by a combination of both. In a single-family dwelling newly constructed after January 1, 1994 that is provided with electrical power, smoke detectors shall be powered by the electrical service in the building and by battery. The seller of a single-family dwelling, including one constructed for first occupancy, whether the transfer is by sale or exchange, shall certify to the buyer at the closing of the transaction that the dwelling is provided with photoelectric-only-type smoke detectors. The requirement in this act for the installation of “photoelectric-only-type” smoke detectors does not prohibit and does not discourage the additional use of separately powered ionization or photoelectric/ionization combination smoke detectors.

Rules which specify the type, placement, and installation of photoelectric smoke detectors are required to be conspicuously posted in the retail sales area where the detectors are sold.

Effective Date: This act took effect on passage, May 29, 2008; however, the portion addressing newly constructed single-family dwellings and the certification of detectors takes effect after January 1, 2009.

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You can reach Pike at 802.233.2600 or pike@castleporter.com.

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