Smoke Alarm Inspections for Rental Properties – Why You Need It

Smoke alarms are a legal requirement for rental properties. A smoke alarm inspection is a process that involves testing and replacing alarms, recording where they are located and when they expire, and communicating with tenants about their responsibilities. This article from Landmark Inspections will go over the basics of smoke alarm compliance and why it is important for rental properties to be compliant. Read on to learn how to avoid the fines and avoid putting your property at risk.

NFPA 101

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has set a standard code of regulations for smoke alarms. These regulations are designed to protect people from fires, other hazardous events, and other dangers. They hold building capabilities to a certain standard and minimize damage to lives and property. These regulations also protect people’s security by monitoring ways of egress, fire protection, and fall protection, as well as emergency communication protocols.

A fire inspector must perform NFPA 101 smoke alarm inspections on the fire alarm systems in residential and daycare buildings. They may delegate this responsibility to a building owner, management company, or individual. In both cases, the person performing the inspection must be qualified by the authority having jurisdiction. This could include factory training for the brand of smoke alarms being serviced, nationally recognized certification, or registered, licensed, or certified.

CSACMAPFEC certification

Smoke alarm inspectors in California must be certified to inspect and test alarms in buildings that are part of a multifamily or single-family structure. To become certified, applicants must complete an application form along with an appropriate fee. Once approved, they will receive the CSACMAPFEC certification. This certification will not be transferable and is valid for six months. If you are re-inspecting a building within six months, you will need to submit a new application.

Smoke alarms must be installed and maintained according to the requirements outlined in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72. In addition, smoke detectors must be interconnected. Additionally, each level of a building must be equipped with a battery backup. A chart of required smoke alarms for residential properties can be found in the Construction Code. The Construction Code specifies which smoke alarms are required for each floor, level, and space.

NFPA Guidelines for Testing

If your home or business has smoke alarms, you should follow NFPA guidelines for testing them. NFPA 72-2016 states that smoke detectors must be sensitivity-tested annually. The frequency of testing depends on the type of detector and the capabilities of your fire alarm control panel. The AHJ may require you to test your smoke alarms more frequently. However, you can skip the need for sensitivity testing altogether.

The NFPA 72 chapter 14 requirements require visual inspections of fire alarm components. However, this process can be governed by local building codes, which you should check. During a visual inspection, technicians should check the batteries, duct detectors, heat detectors, smoke alarms, fuses, LEDs, and power supply. In addition, they should look for any changes that may affect the performance of the fire alarms, including occupancy changes or building modifications. The inspection also helps identify physical obstructions or damages.

Requirements for Annual Testing

A new column has been added to Section C3.2 – The Individual Device Test Record – titled “Output Circuit Operation Confirmed.” This requirement was added to avoid annoyances and inconveniences during annual inspections. The Standard states that at least one initiating device in each zone must be tested to ensure its proper operation. A checkmark was chosen as the easiest way to document the correct test.

Testing of end-of-line devices requires that the panel be unpowered and the manual pull station resettable. In addition, the test should ensure that the zone indicator lamp, which illuminates when the alarm activates, works properly. The test should also check for any defects with the smoke detectors or initiation devices. Additionally, the test should include the batteries, if applicable. The test should be conducted with the manufacturer’s recommended procedure.

Costs of Annual Testing


Annual smoke alarm inspections are a requirement for businesses with fire alarm systems. The cost will depend on the number of devices. Most companies charge around $200 for the inspection. A qualified technician must visit the facility to inspect the entire system and test it for function. They should also replace any batteries every three years. Failure to replace batteries may cause liability for the company. To save money and time, it is beneficial to get quotes from several licensed fire alarm companies.

Some services charge an additional fee for this service, but it is well worth it. Some companies offer a subscription package that covers unlimited inspections. A subscription can be purchased for $99 and includes free installation of smoke alarms required for compliance. For these services, the cost depends on whether or not the property has smoke alarms in each bedroom or is located outside of the GPOs of Adelaide and Brisbane. It also excludes smoke alarms that beep, but the annual inspection will determine whether or not the smoke alarms are in compliance with the law.