Who moved my rules?

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

I've been a real estate agent a long time.  A looong time. And during that time I've attended a lot of inspections, and I learn something new at each and every inspection.

The knowledge I've picked up from random inspectors has proved invaluable as I show properties to my clients.  It helps me know what I'm looking "for", and what I'm looking "at".

One of the tidbits I've picked up over the years, I have repeated to buyers and sellers is that a smoke detector is required, by local law, to be present within 15 feet of each bedroom.  And often that means one detector located on the hall ceiling outside of the bedrooms.

I know it's not our job to keep up on all the rules and laws, but it's a good thing to stay current on some of them.  In my recent inspection, the inspector tells me that the rules now say that you have to have a smoke detector inside each bedroom.

I know that I've seen a few houses with one inside each bedroom, and I thought that was very safe, but a little overkill... I guess not, since that's the rule, today.

Good to know.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

Excellent Blog Alan May - and I, too, have seen some homes with detectors in bedrooms, while some were only in hallways!  Here I see both Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors, too.

Aug 12, 2018 01:27 PM #1
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

KNowing some of the laws and rules shows our clients that we know our business.

Aug 12, 2018 02:30 PM #2
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

 I have also learned much from home inspections and to your point that chirping noise when the battery goes out just helps me know that there are smoke detectors and makes them much easier to find Alan 🤓...

Aug 12, 2018 04:36 PM #3
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I enjoy learning and sharing information, but I want the Inspector to Identify the issues strictly from a liability standpoint....Endre

Aug 12, 2018 10:37 PM #4
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Alan.

I just checked and found we have one in each bedroom, one in the hallway and one in the living room.  So, I guess we're safe

Aug 13, 2018 01:16 AM #5
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Sounds like the current rules in your area are like ours.  My house has a smoke detector in each bedroom, and outside the hall of each bedroom.  Because of the configuration of our upstairs, where we have four bedrooms, we have seven detectors up here.  Meanwhile, on the main level, where my kitchen and laundry room are, only one.   And I think there are three or four in the basement.   If something is worth doing, code says it is worth doing and doing a little more.

Aug 13, 2018 09:38 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Alan- I do think that you can learn a lot if you want to, and learning from inspectors makes you an even better agent. I didn't know about the smoke alarm in bedrooms either. 

Aug 13, 2018 10:29 AM #7
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Yes, dems the rules and in new construction in Oklahoma City carbon monoxide detectors is also a part of this.

Aug 13, 2018 03:29 PM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                           Thank you, Alan. 

Aug 18, 2018 05:03 PM #9
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Alan. What an informative post. Things change and better more than less.

Aug 19, 2018 04:08 AM #10
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Alan May there's something to learn everyday.... and the rules are constantly changing.... 

Aug 19, 2018 04:58 AM #11
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Not the rule yet, here in Florida, Alan.  But I'm thinking sooner or later it will be.

Aug 19, 2018 05:50 AM #12
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Alan May,

Glad to see Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. We've had as code in new construction for several years now that one smoke detector should be installed in each bedroom. Its different all across the country. One thing I learn from a past client when they had a fire that smoke detector are only warrantied for 10 years and replacing a battery may not do the trick. We've changed all of ours now (theirs did not go off when they had a fire).

Aug 19, 2018 06:00 AM #13
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Alan. And now, thanks to you I know! Enjoy your day!

Aug 19, 2018 06:05 AM #14
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Alan May -  a great take off on "Who moved my Cheese".  I noticed that too.  It just shows that we have to stay current.

Aug 19, 2018 07:22 AM #15
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I am happy to report that my home has the detectors inside the bedrooms. I didn't realize it was a rule though.

Aug 19, 2018 08:16 AM #16
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Alan May

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