Who is responsible for smoke detector batteries & FE in a rental property?

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On Sat, 23 Jan 2010 18:29:04 -0800 (PST), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Gosh forbid these were crack heads. In one house the bath fart fans were immobilized. Even found a syringe in the toilet bowl rim (past the flapper, yes).
1) There was a sex swing hook on the ceiling. They took out the light and used that framing for sexual escapades.
2) Sheet rock walls were full (100?) of fired BB/pellet rounds.
3) Dryer vent had a 100% cotton sock on the end of the dryer vent hose/pipe/tube (inside the closet).
I'm sure I can figure a few more
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wrote:

You cant be sited its not the owners responsibility because of tenant lifestyle, if you put in a new battery 5 minutes later it could be going off because of cooking at to high a heat. Tenants just remove the batteries and admit it
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On Sat, 23 Jan 2010 18:00:23 -0800 (PST), Michael B wrote:

Thanks Michael. It's a single-family home. I think this PDF sums it up: http://www.mcar.com/gapdf/SmokeDetectorRequirements.pdf
- Landlords must supply working detectors in all "common sleeping areas" - After 1992 renovations, Landlords must include detectors in each bedroom - Tenant must notify landlord if it's broken; but landlord fixes them - Tenant is responsible for batteries (Landlord provides 1st battery)
Now I'm looking for the second half of the question ... the fire extinguishers.
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Google it you lazy ass, Google aint broke, how do you think people here get answers.
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This should answer your question. For any updates in the law check the California code that is listed for the section being discussed.
http://www.mcar.com/gapdf/SmokeDetectorRequirements.pdf
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Best Regards, Keith
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On Sat, 23 Jan 2010 20:45:38 -0800, Keith wrote:

Ah, very interesting Keith.
In summary, it looks like (from that California Assoc. of Realtors' doc), for single family homes, renovated after 1992: - Landlords must supply working detectors in all "common sleeping areas" - After 1992 renovations, Landlords must include detectors in each bedroom - Tenant must notify landlord if it's broken; but landlord fixes them - Tenant is responsible for batteries (Landlord provides 1st battery)
I wonder if fire extinguishers are similar?
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You still haven't said whether you are asking as a landlord, tenant, or neither one.
I don't know the law in California. In my state (New Jersey) the landlord/owner must meet certain state and municipal requirements regarding smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for rental units depending on the type of rental unit -- multiple dwelling, less than 3 units, etc. Where fire extinguishers are required, they have to be inspected and "tagged" annually.
Smart landlords include in the lease that the tenants shall replace batteries at their own expense and, if the landlord has to do the battery replacement, there is a $20 to $25 charge per battery replaced by the landlord as "additional rent" when assessed.
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As an inspector, I suggest to owners of rental properties that they assume responsibility for changing the furnace filter, and that at the same time they verify smoke detector function.
Certainly, very few have taken that, but the ones that have gotten back to me on it have been expressing appreciation for the suggestion.
If the prospective tenants are not willing to have the owner replacing the filter every other month, the owner doesn't need them anyway. Because the owner would be able to see what is being done with the property, instead of being surprised after a tenant has moved out. It puts them in the unit 6 times a year, and they give notice of their planned entry time per landlord-tenant act, which is similar but different for every state and municipality.
Regarding responsibility for fire extinguishers, I suggest checking with the local non-emergency fire dept. number.
If we have to notify the owner of a smoke detector not in good function, even if it's just got a dead or missing battery, it has to be replaced with a 10-year unit, non-tamperable.
So it continues to be to the owner's advantage to see that the detector is in place and functional.
And even though 70% of fires start in the kitchen, I suggest against a detector in the kitchen without the "hush" function.
Because the current generation of smoke detectors are not really smoke detectors, even though we still call them that. They are ionization detectors, and will sound off when the toaster is used, with no smoke at all. They tend to do false alarms when they are right outside a bathroom door, too.
BTW, when mounting them, remember that the instructions say that if you put one on a wall, it needs to be within the first 12" from the ceiling, but not within the first 4". Smoke tends to travel in kind of a mushroom shaped pattern, and a detector in the upper corner could be bypassed by the smoke pattern. I suggest mounting to the ceiling, so that a person can use a stick or broom handle to push the hush button.

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Michael B wrote:

Good post, but I disagree with your statement that all smoke detectors are ionization type. There's quite a few photoelectric detectors as well, which operate by detecting obscuration (that is, particulates) in the air. I'm not very familiar with what's more popular in residential use, but the vast majority of new commercial installations are using photoelectric detectors.
nate
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No argument with your observation, because there are indeed detctors being made that are specific for obscuration. But the currently available residential units will respond to conditions that had not produced airborne particulates. As I recall, they use Americium 125 and are looking for ionization products, such as one I had recently that had sounded off after the cat had caused the hot water heater vent pipe to be displaced. No particulates, no obscuration, but ionization.

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Michael B wrote:

The "currently available residential units" may be either ionization or photoelectric. Some are both. Both are, for example, quite available from the BORG here. Photoelectrics do not have radioactive sources. (Photoelectric are probably better near a kitchen.)
I agree with Nate.
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Andrade wrote:

Are you asking, in your situation, before or after the fire?
If after the fire, obviously the responsibility lay with the other party. Therefore the other party is liable for all the damage to you, your family, your possessions, peace of mind, pain, suffering, loss of consortium, your beloved pet, and ongoing psychological stress.
If before the fire, providing smoke detection is in your best interest and you are most responsible for your own well-being.
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wrote:

Not sure about CA laws, but most landlords supply smoke detector batteries. Sure it helps save lives, but the landlord really wants to protect his buildings. If it were me, I'd prefer to take responsibility and change my own battery and retain privacy. Who would get the blame for a smoke-inhalation death--that depends on the judge.
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Phisherman wrote:

Exactamundo!
THIS MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!
In every case where a hijacked plane is on the ground and the goblins are thought to be armed with explosives, the plane has always been allowed to take off for wherever.
In every case where a hijacked plane is on the ground and the goblins are thought to armed only with firearms, the plane has never been allowed to leave. In many of these cases, the FBI has rushed the plane and sprayed everybody with machine gun fire.
The difference: A shoot out kills people but does only minimal damage to the airplane. Whereas a bomb.... well, there goes $25 million!
So how can this bit of knowledge save your life?
If you're on a hijacked plane, call one of the squints over and say: "Look, I know you're the expert on this sort of thing, but could you at least TELL the authorities you have a bomb? We'd be ever so grateful."
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