Effective January 12, 2015, state lawmakers updated the Florida Building Code to require the use of batteries that last 10 years in residential smoke detectors. This is a benefit to homeowners as they will not have to remember to replace their smoke alarm batteries every six months as recommended by manufacturers. The new law read as such:
“A battery-powered smoke alarm that is newly installed or replaces an existing battery-powered smoke alarm must be powered by a nonremovable, nonreplaceable battery that powers the alarm for at least ten years.”
Last year, 114 people died in house fires in Florida and 43% of those did not have smoke alarms installed or they were not functioning because of missing or disconnected batteries. It is the hope of responders across the state that this new law will reduce the number of deaths from structure fires.
The law reads:
Section 553.883, Florida Statutes
Smoke alarms in one-family and two-family dwellings and townhomes.—One-family and two-family dwellings and townhomes undergoing a repair, or a level 1 alteration as defined in the Florida Building Code, may use smoke alarms powered by 10-year nonremovable, nonreplaceable batteries in lieu of retrofitting such dwelling with smoke alarms powered by the dwelling’s electrical system. Effective January 1, 2015, a battery-powered smoke alarm that is newly installed or replaces an existing battery-powered smoke alarm must be powered by a nonremovable, nonreplaceable battery that powers the alarm for at least 10 years. The battery requirements of this section do not apply to a fire alarm, smoke detector, smoke alarm, or ancillary component that is electronically connected as a part of a centrally monitored or supervised alarm system.