TITLE 16

Health and Safety

Safety

CHAPTER 66. FIRE PREVENTION

Subchapter IV. Smoke Detectors


(a) Each owner of a residential occupancy, used wholly or in part as a home, residence, dwelling or sleeping place for 1 or more persons, either permanent or transient, including but not limited to any 1-family and 2-family dwelling, mobile home, modular home, townhouse; lodging, rooming or boarding house; hotel, motel, bed and breakfast facility; dormitory, apartment or multi-family dwelling; board and care facility; or a residential occupancy by any other name, be it rented, leased or owned, shall install, within such occupancy, smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems, either photo-electric or ionization types, capable of automatically sensing visible or invisible particles or products of combustion, and which activate an alarm sufficiently audible to warn the occupants of the building of an impending danger of fire or hazard to life.

(b) The requirement for the installation of smoke detecting devices and/or smoke detection systems as provided for in this section shall apply to all new and existing occupancies, buildings and/or structures listed in subsection (a) of this section, regardless of when any such occupancy, building or structure was built.

(c) It shall be the responsibility of the owner of a residential occupancy listed in subsection (a) of this section to install and maintain smoke detection devices as required by this chapter, with the following exception: Where there is a tenant of a rented or leased occupancy, structure or building required to have smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems, as required in this subchapter, and the rental, lease agreement or contract is for a period of 1 month or more, such tenant shall be responsible for the maintenance of any smoke detection devices, with respect to maintaining an operable battery in the smoke detection device, within the individual rented or leased unit.

(d) All smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems which are required to be installed under this subchapter shall be installed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the State Fire Prevention Regulations.

(e) When the standards of the State Fire Prevention Regulations and the building codes change with respect to the number and location of smoke detectors in new construction, such standards shall be the minimum to be utilized for determining compliance with this statute for new construction. A listing of all updated standards and their effective dates shall be maintained in the State Fire Marshal's Office.

(f) It shall not be the duty of a real estate salesperson or broker, licensed under Chapter 29 of Title 24 to verify the compliance of any person or residential occupancy with the provisions of this subchapter.

69 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 219, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 3.;

(a) Each 1-family and 2-family dwelling, mobile home, modular home, and townhouse shall have smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems installed according to the following requirements:

(1) For each new building or occupancy built after July 8, 1993, smoke detection devices shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of the State Fire Prevention Regulations and the building codes in effect at the time of new construction.

(2) For all buildings or occupancies erected or built prior to July 8, 1993, each required smoke detection device shall be installed outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and shall be installed on each additional story of the family living unit, including basements, but excluding crawl spaces and unfinished attics, if nothing is stored or kept in such area; but the smoke detection devices in existing buildings or occupancies may be single-station, individual smoke detection devices, approved by Underwriters Laboratories or the Factory Mutual Association, and powered by a monitored battery power supply in accordance with Delaware Fire Prevention Regulations.

(b) Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the owner of any 1-family or 2-family dwelling, mobile home, modular home or townhouse from installing an inter-connected smoke detection system, hard-wired to the building's electrical system.

69 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 219, §§ 2, 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 3.;

(a) Each lodging, rooming or boarding house; hotel, motel, bed and breakfast facility; dormitory; apartment or multi-family dwelling; board and care facility; or a residential occupancy by any other name shall have smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems installed in conformance to the standards of the State Fire Prevention Regulations and the building codes pursuant to the specifications for the individual occupancies or use.

(b) Where there is a conflict between installation requirements, this section shall be interpreted to require the more strict of the installation specifications, for a particular occupancy.

(c) All required smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems listed in subsection (a) of this section, except as otherwise specified herein, shall be inter-connected, so that operation of any smoke detection device shall cause the alarm-sounding devices in all smoke detection devices within the building, occupancy or within a separate zoned area to sound; or that will initiate the building fire alarm system to provide an audible warning to all occupants of the building, and all such smoke detection devices and/or systems shall be hard-wired into the electric system of the building, in accordance with the National Electric Code.

(d) With approval of the Fire Marshal, smoke detection devices in individual sleeping rooms may be excepted from the requirement that smoke detection devices be interconnected if such building or occupancy is provided with an automatic smoke detection system in the hallways, corridors or stairwells, or is connected to a building fire alarm system which will activate an alarm which is sufficiently audible to warn the occupants of the building of the impending danger of fire or hazard to life.

(e) For all buildings or occupancies which under subsection (a) of this section are required to install smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems, and for such buildings or occupancies that do not have an auxiliary, emergency or back-up power system in accordance with State Fire Prevention Regulations, each smoke detection device or smoke detection system shall utilize the type of smoke detection device that has a built-in battery back-up power supply.

(f) The plans and specifications for all smoke detection devices and/or systems required by this subsection shall be submitted to the State Fire Marshal's Office, prior to installation, for review and approval in accordance with § 6612 of this title.

69 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 219, § 4; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, §§ 3, 6.;

(a) For each newly erected or constructed 1-family and 2-family dwelling, mobile home, modular home or townhouse listed in § 6631 of this title, the compliance date shall be July 8, 1993.

(b) For all existing 1-family and 2-family dwellings, mobile homes, modular homes or townhouses listed in § 6631 of this title, erected or constructed prior to July 8, 1993, the compliance date shall be July 1, 1994.

(c) For all other residential occupancies listed in § 6633 of this title, constructed after July 8, 1993, the required smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems shall be installed at time of construction.

(d) For all other existing residential occupancies listed in § 6633 of this title, newly erected or constructed prior to July 8, 1993, the compliance date shall be July, 1, 1996.

69 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 3.;

(a) Each owner and/or tenant of every building or occupancy required to have smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems in accordance with this subchapter, whether an individual or a body corporate, who fails to comply with this subchapter regarding smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each offense. The Justice of the Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over any violation of this subchapter.

(b) Anyone who tampers with, damages, destroys or renders inoperative any smoke detection device and/or smoke detection system, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each offense. The Justice of the Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over these violations.

(c) Where a fire department responds to an alarm of any type at a building or occupancy required to have smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems as required by this subchapter or by the State Fire Prevention Regulations, and such building does not have a functional, working smoke detection device and/or the smoke detection system is not operable, is not in service, or is not installed or maintained as required by this chapter or by the State Fire Prevention Regulations; or the Fire Marshal's Office becomes aware of such building or occupancy, the State Fire Marshal's Office shall have authority to investigate. The State Fire Marshal may issue a summons, where necessary, to the owner and/or occupant of such building or occupancy, for an appearance in the nearest Justice of the Peace Court.

(d) Each fine specified in this section of this title shall be remitted to the State Fire Marshal's Office in accordance with § 6612 of this title, which provisions shall be complied with in implementing the requirements of this chapter. All receipts shall be used to subsidize the costs of providing a greater public awareness of the ramifications of not having smoke detectors; and to provide smoke detection devices, where possible and/or permissible, for 1-family and 2-family dwellings, mobile homes, modular homes or townhouses, where enforcement action takes place with respect to the owner and/or occupant of the 1-family and 2-family dwelling, mobile home, modular home or townhouse.

(e) In the enforcement of this subchapter with respect to smoke detection devices and/or smoke detection systems, where the fines are collected within the jurisdictions of the cities of Wilmington, Newark, Dover or New Castle, such fines shall be remitted to the appropriate political subdivision, and shall be utilized for the purposes stated in subsection (d) of this section.

(f) The State Fire Marshal's Office shall be the state-wide manager and agency for all public awareness programs generated by the proceeds of the fines collected under this section.

(g) With the exception of subsection (f) of this section, where any reference is made to the State Fire Marshal or the State Fire Marshal's Office, such reference shall be interpreted to also apply to the Assistant State Fire Marshals of the cities of Wilmington, Newark, Dover and New Castle for the enforcement actions of these provisions.

(h) The State Fire Marshal or the Attorney General may, in addition to other remedies provided by this section, institute injunction, mandamus, abatement or any other appropriate action or actions or proceedings to prevent any continued violations of this chapter.

69 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, §§ 3, 5.;

Failure to comply with this subchapter shall not be considered as evidence of either comparative or contributory negligence in any civil suit or insurance claim adjudication arising out of any injury or death arising from a fire or the direct consequences of a fire; nor shall failure to comply with this subchapter be admissible as evidence in any trial of any civil action or insurance claim adjudication.

69 Del. Laws, c. 170, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, § 3.;

(a) This section shall be referred to as the "Delaware Fire Detection Fund.''

(b) A special fund of the State is hereby created to be known as the "Delaware Fire Detection Fund.'' All moneys, including gifts, bequests, grants or other funds from private or public sources specifically designated for the Delaware Fire Detection Fund shall be deposited or transferred to the Fire Detection Fund. Moneys in the Delaware Fire Detection Fund may be saved and deposited in an interest bearing savings or investment account. Interest or other income earned on the moneys in the Delaware Fire Detection Fund shall be deposited or transferred into the Delaware Fire Detection Fund. The Delaware Fire Detection Fund shall not lapse or revert to the General Fund.

(c) Moneys from the Delaware Fire Detection Fund shall be expended for the purpose of providing hard-wired smoke detectors with battery back up to Delaware residences lacking fire detection devices; provided, however, any moneys received from State-appropriated funds shall only be used for owner-occupied residences. Any moneys derived from private sources may be used for any Delaware residences. Any moneys derived from private sources may be used for any Delaware residences.

(d) The State Fire Marshal is authorized to identify and maintain an approved contractor list of licensed master electricians and licensed fire alarm signaling system companies for the purpose of installing hard-wired smoke detectors. The State Fire Marshal will maintain this approved list in each county in order to minimize costs and maximize efficiency consistent with public safety. This approved list will be furnished to those owners identified as lacking fire detection devices as outlined in subsection (c) of this section.

(e) The State Fire Prevention Commission is authorized to adopt rules and regulations necessary to administer the program in accordance with this section. The State Fire Prevention Commission will establish a priority list to distribute the hard-wired smoke detectors.

(f) The State Fire Marshal shall supervise and administer the program in accordance with any rules and regulations adopted by the State Fire Prevention Commission through the State Fire Marshal's Office Quality Assurance Program.

(g) The objective of the Fund is to ensure the installation of working smoke detectors in every private residence in the State.

73 Del. Laws, c. 237, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 444, §§ 3, 7-9.;