Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector Laws

Carbon Monoxide Detector Laws by State | Smoke Alarm Laws by State | FAQs

Learn about state-by-state laws governing carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms in residential properties, including which states still don’t require them to be installed.

STATECARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR REQUIRED?SMOKE DETECTOR REQUIRED?
ALABAMAYesYes
ALASKAYesYes
ARIZONAYesYes
ARKANSASYesYes
CALIFORNIAYesYes
COLORADOYesYes
CONNECTICUTYesYes
DELAWAREYesYes
FLORIDAYesYes
GEORGIAYesYes
HAWAIINoYes
IDAHOYesYes
ILLINOISYesYes
INDIANAYesYes
IOWAYesYes, dual (photoelectric/ionization) sensor required.
KANSASYesYes
KENTUCKYYesYes
LOUISANAYesYes
MAINEYesYes, photoelectric type required
MARYLANDYesYes
MASSACHUSETTSYesYes, photoelectric type required, dual (photoelectric/ionization) sensor required in new construction
MICHIGANYesYes
MINNESOTAYesYes
MISSISSIPPIYesYes
MISSOURINoYes
MONTANAYesYes
NEBRASKAYesYes
NEVADAYesYes
NEW HAMPSHIREYesYes
NEW JERSEYYesYes
NEW MEXICOYesYes
NEW YORKYesYes
NORTH CAROLINAYesYes
NORTH DAKOTAYesYes
OHIOYesYes, dual (photoelectric/ionization) sensor required in new construction
OKLAHOMAYesYes
OREGONYesYes with hush mechanism
PENNSYLVANIAYesYes
RHODE ISLANDYesYes
SOUTH CAROLINAYesYes
SOUTH DAKOTAYesYes
TENNESSEEYesYes
TEXASYesYes
UTAHYesYes
VERMONTYesYes, photoelectric type required
VIRGINIAYesYes
WASHINGTONYesYes
WEST VIRGINAYesYes
WISCONSINYesYes
WYOMINGYesYes

Carbon Monoxide Laws by State

 

STATECARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR REQUIRED?
ALABAMACarbon monoxide detectors should be installed near the bedrooms. If a fuel-burning appliance is in a bedroom or attached bathroom, carbon monoxide detectors must be installed within the bedroom.
Carbon monoxide alarms in new builds should be hardwired with a battery backup.
ALASKACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
ARIZONACarbon monoxide detectors are required in all homes with fuel burning appliances, heaters, or attached garages.
ARKANSASCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
CALIFORNIACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
COLORADOCarbon monoxide detectors are required. Carbon monoxide alarms in new builds should be hardwired with a battery backup.
CONNECTICUTCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
DELAWARECarbon monoxide detectors are required.
FLORIDACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
GEORGIACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
HAWAIIThere is no state law in Hawaii requiring carbon monoxide detectors.
IDAHOCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
ILLINOISCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
INDIANAThere is no state law in Indiana requiring carbon monoxide detectors.
IOWACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
KANSASThere is no state law in Kansas requiring carbon monoxide detectors.
KENTUCKYCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
LOUISANACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
MAINEAll new and extensively renovated homes must have a carbon monoxide detector powered by a building’s electrical system with battery back-up, a sealed detector with a 10-year battery, or be part of a combined fire/carbon monoxide detection system.
MARYLANDCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
MASSACHUSETTSCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
MICHIGANCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
MINNESOTACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
MISSISSIPPICarbon monoxide detectors are required.
MISSOURIThere is no state law in Missouri requiring carbon monoxide detectors.
MONTANACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NEBRASKACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NEVADACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NEW HAMPSHIRECarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NEW JERSEYCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NEW MEXICOCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NEW YORKCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NORTH CAROLINACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
NORTH DAKOTACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
OHIOCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
OKLAHOMACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
OREGONCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
PENNSYLVANIACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
RHODE ISLANDCarbon monoxide alarms are required in all homes. Specific types and locations required will vary based on age of home.
SOUTH CAROLINACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
SOUTH DAKOTACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
TENNESSEECarbon monoxide detectors are required.
TEXASCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
UTAHCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
VERMONTCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
VIRGINIACarbon monoxide detectors are required.
WASHINGTONCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
WEST VIRGINACarbon monoxide detectors are mandated in all homes with fuel-burning appliances, heaters, or attached garages, storage sheds, or barns.
WISCONSINCarbon monoxide detectors are required.
WYOMINGCarbon monoxide detectors are required in all homes with fuel-burning appliances, heaters, or attached garages.

Smoke Alarm Laws by State

STATECARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR REQUIRED?
ALABAMASmoke alarms shall be installed in bedrooms, in hallways outside bedrooms, and on each story of the dwelling, including basements.
New construction codes require smoke alarms to be hardwired with a battery backup.
ALASKASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
ARIZONASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
ARKANSASSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
CALIFORNIASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
COLORADOSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
CONNECTICUTSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
DELAWARESmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
FLORIDASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
GEORGIASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
HAWAIISmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
IDAHOSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
ILLINOISSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
INDIANASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
IOWASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
KANSASSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
KENTUCKYSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
LOUISANASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MAINESmoke alarms are required in all homes. Photoelectric smoke alarm must be installed near bathrooms/kitchen. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MARYLANDSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MASSACHUSETTSSmoke alarms are required in all homes. Smoke alarms installed within 20 feet of kitchens and bathrooms must be photoelectric only New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MICHIGANSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MINNESOTASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MISSISSIPPISmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MISSOURISmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
MONTANASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NEBRASKASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NEVADASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NEW HAMPSHIRESmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NEW JERSEYSmoke alarms are required in all homes. Smoke alarms powered by a battery must have a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that will power the device for ten years. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NEW MEXICOSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NEW YORKSmoke alarms are required in all homes. All replacement Smoke alarms must be hard-wired or powered by a 10-year sealed battery.
New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NORTH CAROLINASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
NORTH DAKOTASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
OHIOSmoke alarms are required in all homes. In new construction, hard-wired combination smoke alarms utilizing both photoelectric and ionization technology must be installed.
OKLAHOMASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
OREGONSmoke alarms are required in all homes. All ionization smoke alarms must have a sealed 10-year battery and a hush mechanism allowing the alarm to be silenced for no more than 15 minutes.
New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
PENNSYLVANIASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
RHODE ISLANDSmoke alarms are required in all homes. Specific types and locations required will vary based on age of home. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
SOUTH CAROLINASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
SOUTH DAKOTASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
TENNESSEESmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
TEXASSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
UTAHSmoke alarms are required in all homes.Battery-powered smoke alarms should only be replaced with 10-year sealed battery-powered alarms. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
VERMONTSmoke alarms are required in all homes. All smoke alarms must utilize photoelectric technology. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
VIRGINIASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
WASHINGTONSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
WEST VIRGINASmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
WISCONSINSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.
WYOMINGSmoke alarms are required in all homes. New home construction mandates hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are fire code laws and ordinances written?

While many states adopt the NFPA or IFC Fire Code, city, county, or other municipal jurisdictions may have additional code requirements regarding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most state laws do not limit municipality, county, or other local government authority from adding additional requirements to the State law.

While some states, such as Missouri, do not have statewide laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms, cities, towns, and other local authorities within the state do have ordinances and laws. It’s always best to check ordinances and fire code laws on the state, county, and municipal levels.

What is the difference between a smoke alarm and smoke detector?

Many people utilize the terms smoke detector and smoke alarm to describe the same device. The terms are actually not interchangeable. A smoke alarm describes a device that detects smoke vs a device that detects the presence of certain gases or heat. Smoke alarms will utilize a horn or audible alarm within each unit and can be interconnected to provide an alarm through an entire residence.  A smoke detector utilizes detection devices that are connected to a central alarm panel.

What causes carbon monoxide to be released in the home?

Carbon monoxide is usually generated by combustion- whether it’s a water heater, a car idling in or near the opening of a garage, or a fireplace, if something is burning, it’s likely generating carbon monoxide. In an enclosed space like a residential structure, it can quickly render the occupants unconscious before they even realize they are getting sick, and kill them. States are increasingly enforcing laws requiring the detection of this deadly gas. Carbon monoxide, often referred to in public health notices as a “silent killer,” can indeed silently and quickly permeate a home, apartment, or other structure.

What is the difference between photoelectric and ionization detection alarms?

Not every fire will produce the same type of smoke. An active flaming fire will produce different smoke than a smoldering fire.  For most consumer-grade alarms, there are two types of smoke detection technology used: ionization detection and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms will detect flaming fires faster than a photoelectric alarm. Ionization technology utilizes radioactive material to sense the presence of smoke particles. It’s most effective at detecting smoke particles smaller than 1 micron generated by fires with a lot of flame, such as a blaze fueled by highly flammable materials like grease in a kitchen fire, old newspapers, or solvents. Fires that smolder and generate more smoke initially generate larger particles.

A photoelectric alarm detects the smoldering type of smoke more quickly than the ionization style. Photoelectric detection technology utilizes a photosensitive sensor and light to pick up on smoke particles that enter the light path, reducing the amount of light that reaches the sensor.

It’s nearly impossible to determine ahead of time what type of fire might burn in a property. Generally speaking, the placement of a smoke alarm and proper maintenance will do more for effectiveness than the kind of technology used in it.

What is a dual-sensor smoke alarm?

A duo-sensor smoke alarm utilizes two technologies to detect smoke: photoelectric and ionization detection.

What if the occupants of the home have hearing or vision impairment?

If somebody in the home has hearing loss, an alarm system with strobes, lights, or vibration should be utilized. For occupants who are both visually and hearing-impaired, there are alarms that vibrate to awaken and alert of the danger.