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New Vermont Regulations regarding smoke & CO detectors effective January 1, 2009.

The following is a summery of the new requirements, attached are links to the division of fire and safety's website where you can find additional information. Note: significant differences in regulations exist state by state. Be certain to be fully informed as to the regulations in the state in which your property transaction takes place.


Legislation passed last session requiring that at the time of sale of residential property in Vermont Photoelectric-only type smoke detectors need to be placed in the vicinity of bedrooms with at least one on each floor, will take effect January 1st 2009.  These new regulations also require that a Carbon Monoxide detector be placed in the Vicinity of bedrooms with at least one on each floor.  These detection units must be installed to the manufactures requirements.  For the purpose of meeting this statute Combination Photoelectric/Ionization Smoke detectors will not meet the requirements of this statute, However Combination Photoelectric/Carbon Monoxide Detectors will.   This Statute will take effect January 1st 2009.


If a home is newly constructed or was constructed after 1994 the Detection units need to be hardwired into the homes electric supply.  This reflects when state building codes began to require newly constructed homes be hard wired with smoke detectors.  Detectors must be properly installed to the manufactures requirements.  This means that for older homes built before 1994 detectors can be solely battery operated and forego the hardwiring process if installation requirements of the manufacturer are met.


For the purpose of complying with this statute Photoelectric-only-type detectors will be counted.  Combination Photoelectric/Ionization detectors will not meet the requirements of this statute.  Much testimony was given to the differences in response times of the detectors compared with each other, and in what types of fires they preformed best.  Photoelectric detectors detect smoldering fires minutes faster than ionization detectors do.  Smoldering fires happen to be the deadliest fires as well.  In the interest of safety it is important people have the most amount of time to react to a fire as possible. 


Combination Photoelectric/Carbon monoxide detectors will meet this statute.  These units can be used in conjunction with one another.  It is important to note the average healthy life span for a smoke detector is 10 years and for a carbon monoxide detector its 5 years, therefore combination photoelectric/carbon monoxide units should be replaced every 5 years.


This Act requires that at the point of sale a home must meet this statute; if it does not, the buyer has 10 days to notify the seller of the noncompliance.  At which point the seller has 10 days to comply with this statute.  This law will take effect January 1st 2009.


Link to the Division of fire and safety Certification of Compliance with smoke detector laws.       ß Division's homepage    ßthe new compliance form


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