Updating hard wired smoke alarms
When the batteries fail in these units, the entire alarm is replaced rather than just the battery.
Under certain circumstances, the owners of homes built before the hard-wiring requirements were enacted must install updated smoke alarm systems if they undertake a home renovation project.
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One smoke detector must be present on every floor of the house, including basements and attics.
Where multiple smoke alarms are required, the units must be wired together so all of the alarms go off at the same time.
Properly installed and functioning fire alarms increase the odds of surviving a house fire by 50 percent, according to the California state fire marshal.
It is not surprising, then, that building codes throughout the United States typically follow the International Building Code, which includes strict requirements about how many smoke alarms must be installed inside residential buildings, where they must be located and how they should function.
Smoke alarms powered by batteries alone are allowed if the home was built before building codes required hard-wired units.