Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati

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Smoke Detectors

PHOTO ELECTRIC SMOKE DETECTORS

Following the tragic death of 2 students in a smoldering house fire in Clifton on New Years Day 2013, The City of Cincinnati has passed, legislation requiring that all rental properties have photoelectric smoke alarms installed outside the structure’s sleeping quarters.
In addition rental property owners are now required to inspect the required photoelectric smoke alarms annually and when executing a new lease agreements, and report their findings to the Cincinnati Fire Department. City of Cincinnati Ordinance Number 45-2013.

WHY PHOTO ELECTRIC
SMOKE DETECTORS?

Not all smoke detectors are equal.  There are two technologies – ionization and photo-electric. Typically over 90% of smoke detectors are ionization type. 

  • Ionization detectors are good at detecting fast flaming fires (they are also prone to false alarm from gases emitted during normal cooking).
  • Photo Electric Detectors are better at detecting slow burning and smouldering fires (these kill more people through the effects of smoke inhalation).

WHAT DO LANDLORDS
NEED TO DO?

This only applies to City of Cincinnati at this time, but we expect that other municipalities will follow.  Install a photo electric smoke detector outside of each bedroom in the building. If the bedrooms are close together only one PE Smoke Detector is required, if bedrooms are on different floors or the bedroom doors are not close to each other, additional photo electric smoke detectors are required outside each group of contiguous bedrooms.

WHAT ELSE DO LANDLORDS
NEED TO DO?

This Inspection Form is being provided for documentation of the required inspection and shall be posted in the building’s boiler room or furnace room at all times. Cincinnati Fire Inspectors will check the records when inspecting your property.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE
TO COMPLY?

Legislation passed on 2/27/13 – the clock is ticking

  • 12 Units or Fewer: 6 months to install Photo Electric Smoke Detectors be in compliance by 8/26/2013
  • 13 Units or More: 24 Months to install Photo Electric Smoke Detectors, but need to install at each turnover or lease renewal Be in compliance by 2/26/2015

WHAT AND WHERE
CAN I BUY?

  • Dual Technology Detectors that combine Photo Electric and Ionization Technology are NOT acceptable and should be avoided.
  • Battery operated Photo Electric Smoke Detectors are acceptable in all applications and cost between $10 and $15.
  • Available at all home improvement stores
  • Greater Cincinnati REIA and the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment association have a deal with Home Depot to purchase the Photo Electic Smoke Detector under $10, more details to come. 

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FURTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED?

If you require further information or have any specific questions, please email:

Aidan Stringfellow – aidan@homesolutions4all.com
GCREIA Photo Electric Smoke Detector Project Coordinator