One of the responsibilities of a home inspector is to check the presence and functionality of smoke detectors in a home. Smoke detectors were required first in 1973. The codes pertaining to smoke detectors have expanded since then.
- In 1973, one smoke detector was required for the whole home.
- In 1979, code changed to include a required retroactive smoke alarm inspection and hardwired and interconnected alarms when work of more than $1,000 was done on the home.
- In 1988, one smoke detector was required on every floor of the home.
- In 1991, one smoke detector was required in every sleeping room.
- In 2003, a smoke detector was required in the vicinity outside of every bedroom.
Since 1980, the number of home fires and related deaths have been cut roughly in half. Unfortunately an average of eight people die every day from house fires.
So next time the home inspector identifies failed or missing smoke detectors, thank him. He might be preventing a tragedy.
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The San Diego Real Estate Inspection Co.