The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration advises that automatic fire protection systems significantly reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage from fire. Smoke detectors detect visible or invisible smoke particles and signal an alarm to alert building occupants of a fire hazard. The Ohio Building Code, and the Ohio Fire Code set out the rules and regulations governing electrical fire safety protection systems, including smoke detectors, in new buildings and existing structures. Commercial buildings may also be subject to the OSHA standards regarding fire protection systems to safeguard employees.
The Ohio state fire marshal oversees compliance with, and enforcement of, the state fire code. The code establishes minimum standards for the protection of individuals and property from fire hazards or explosions. The state fire code sets out regulations governing the installation, maintenance or repair of fire suppression and alarm systems.
Smoke detectors, extinguishers and fire suppression systems have to always remain operational. A building owner must repair or replace any defects found in the fire safety system. Fire alarm devices must comply with the standards outlined by the National Fire Protection Association. Commercial dwellings may also be subject to section 29 of the OSHA Fire Protection Standards. New commercial buildings or structures must have an automatic smoke detection system, with the exception of buildings with fewer than 50 occupants that have an approved automatic sprinkler system.
Smoke control systems and detectors must have a source of standby or back-up power, in the event that power is disrupted. Building owners must test the standby or emergency systems, and maintain them on a regular basis in accordance with the state fire code.
Commercial building owners must install smoke detectors and electrical fire protection systems in accordance with the code. Fire officials from the office of the fire marshal must inspect, test and approve electrical fire safety equipment. The installation of the equipment must comply with the instructions stated for smoke detectors or electrical fire safety systems in the devices' published safety report.
Serena Cassidy has written reports, policies, and research documents since 2000 on community development and government policy issues, and she has been featured in "CIO Canada." She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Saint Mary's University and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University. She currently works as a government policy analyst.