Smoke Alarm Regulations in New Jersey

The New Jersey Uniform Fire Code regulates the procedures for proper installation and operation of residential smoke detectors in the state. Smoke alarm regulations are in place to ensure each home has working smoke alarms installed in the proper locations to quickly detect the presence of a fire within a home and provide the early warning necessary to save lives.

Certificate of Compliance

The New Jersey Uniform Fire Code requires a certificate of smoke detector compliance before any person may sell, lease or change occupancy of any one-family or two-family dwelling in the state. The owner of the property may only obtain a certificate of compliance through the borough or township having jurisdiction over the home's location. A smoke detector certificate is valid for six months from the date of issue.

Smoke Detector Locations

A homeowner or property renter must install a smoke detector on each floor of a residential dwelling, including the basement, common stairwells and hallways, and a maximum 10 feet outside of each separate sleeping area. New Jersey law does not require the interconnection of these smoke detectors. This means that each smoke detector works independently and won't go off just because a smoke detector in a different room or on a different floor of the house sends out an alarm. Smoke detectors may use battery power or operate on 120-volt house current.

Electrical House Work

All renovation projects or new home building projects must have electrical work performed by a New Jersey-licensed electrical contractor. This includes wiring for non-battery powered smoke detectors. This work must also have the approval of the township or borough having jurisdiction of the property, which requires an on-site inspection of the property to ensure electrical wiring complies with all local and state ordinances regarding operational safety.

Read More: National Electrical Code Smoke Alarm Residential Requirements

Volume and Installation

A smoke detector must sound an alarm of at least 85 decibels at 10 feet to pass inspection under New Jersey law, according to Fair Lawn Borough's website. A painted smoke detector will not pass local safety inspection. The installation of a heat detector or a carbon monoxide detector does not qualify as a smoke detector for meeting local and state fire safety requirements. The installation of a smoke detector must meet the manufacturer's instructions for secure installation -- duct tape, Velcro or other adhesive will not pass inspection.

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