Real Estate Articles

Metro Louisville Smoke Alarm with Tenant Turnovers | By: Other

Please forward the following information to KREIA Members. During the question and answer session last week (Feb 2015 meeting), I was asked a question about Smoke Detectors at tenancy changes.

I said I would look it up to be sure and would send it to the group. I have attached the ordinance and Highlighted  the section 94.03 (D) that answers the question.

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SMOKE DETECTORS

§ 94.01 DEFINITIONS.

§ 94.01  DEFINITIONS.

   For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

   CHIEF. Any person appointed or empowered in accordance with KRS Chapters 227, 75, 95 or 67C.105 to carry out the expressed or implied statutory authority granted under the specific chapter for which their authority is derived within their fire department or fire district.

   CODE OFFICIAL.  The official who is charged with the administration and enforcement of the Property Maintenance Code established by Chapter 156 of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Code of Ordinances, or any duly authorized representative.

   DWELLING. Any building which contains one or more dwelling units or any rooming units, rooms, or area designated or used for sleeping purposes either as a primary use or use on casual occasions. This term shall include single-family dwellings, duplexes, rooming houses, hotels, motels, tourist homes, school dormitories, apartment and/or condominium buildings.

   DWELLING UNIT. Any group of rooms located within a building and forming a single housekeeping unit with facilities, which are used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, or eating.

   OWNER. Any person who alone, jointly, or severally with others:

      (1)   Shall have all or part of the legal title to any dwelling or dwelling unit, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have all or part of the beneficial ownership of any dwelling or dwelling unit and a right to present use and enjoyment thereof, including a mortgage in possession; or

      (2)   Shall have charge, care, or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit as owner, or as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian of the estate, or duly authorized agent of the owner. Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the owner's obligations under this section.

   ROOMING UNIT. Any room, which is designed or used for sleeping purposes. This term may include a room in a rooming house, a hotel, a motel, a tourist home, a school dormitory, or an apartment building, which may or may not have some additional facilities for eating or cooking contained therein.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 69-2003, approved 4-16-2003)

§ 94.02 SMOKE DETECTORS REQUIRED; TYPE AND PLACEMENT.

§ 94.02  SMOKE DETECTORS REQUIRED; TYPE AND PLACEMENT.

   (A)   In all dwelling units, smoke detectors powered by a hard wire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery shall be installed and maintained after the effective date of this subchapter. Single station detectors presently installed utilizing standard batteries may continue to be used as long as the units remain operational.  Should an inspection of the concerned properties reveal these units out of service due to a low or no battery, it will be cause to replace the units with at least smoke detectors powered by a hard wire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery.

   (B)   In order to comply with this subchapter, only ionization or photoelectric type detectors listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory shall be installed.

   (C)   Smoke detectors shall be installed in accordance with applicable NFPA standards and the manufacturers recommendations.  Detectors may be ceiling or wall mounted, provided that they shall be mounted at a minimum of four inches and a maximum of 12 inches from the ceiling, and not closer than four inches from the point at which the ceiling and wall meet.

   (D)   In a dwelling unit, which contains a well-defined sleeping room separated from the other activity areas of the same unit, the detector shall be located in the corridor within the unit or interior area giving access to the rooms used for sleeping purposes. Where sleeping areas are separated and/or where a single smoke detector will not adequately service all sleeping areas, there shall be a smoke detector installed adjacent to each sleeping area. In a rooming unit the detector shall be centrally located.

   (E)   In a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units or any rooming unit, in addition to the requirements for individual smoke detectors in each dwelling unit or rooming unit, detectors shall be placed in centrally located common areas so that smoke detectors will adequately service all sleeping areas.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 69-2003, approved 4-16-2003)

§ 94.03 INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE.

§ 94.03  INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE.

   (A)   The owner of a dwelling shall be responsible for supplying and installing in an operable condition, the required detectors and for providing the manufacturer's maintenance and testing instructions to the tenant.

   (B)   The owner of a dwelling shall be responsible for maintenance and testing of detectors, in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, which are located in common areas and/or detectors in rooming units where the tenant usually has periods of occupancy, (less than 30 continuous days, such as, hotels, motels, tourist homes).

   (C)   The tenant shall be responsible for maintaining and testing the detectors, in accordance with the manufacturer' instructions, which are within his or her exclusive control during the life of the tenancy. The tenant shall be responsible for notifying the owner in writing when detectors become inoperable, and the owner shall have ten days after receipt of such written notice in which to replace or repair the detectors in an operable condition. In the existing single station, battery-operated types of detectors, battery replacement will not be allowed. In the event existing detectors with standard batteries are found inoperable, the units shall be replaced with at least smoke detectors powered by a hardwire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery.

   (D)   At every change of tenancy in all multi-family residential units and dormitories, it shall be the duty of the owner to test and ascertain that those detectors contained in the unit are in operable condition, and if not, the owner shall be responsible for placing them in operable condition.  Further, in the event existing detectors with standard batteries are found inoperable, the owner shall be responsible for replacing such detectors with at least smoke detectors powered by a hardwire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten-year lithium battery.       

   (E)   In all hotels, motels, rooming houses or tourist homes it shall be the duty of the owner to test such detectors on a regular basis in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, and the owner shall be responsible for maintaining such units in an operable condition. A log of smoke detector inspections and findings shall be maintained by the owner, and shall be made available to fire inspectors upon request.

   (F)   It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to install at least smoke detectors powered by a hardwire AC primary power source or a self-monitored, non-removal ten year lithium battery before transfer of the property to a new party.  A signed affidavit of the property owner, given to purchaser, seller, and real estate agent before transfer will suffice in meeting this requirement.

   (G)   Where AC powered detectors have been installed and maintained in accordance with previous ordinances, they shall continue to be used in accordance with the manufacturers installation and maintenance guidelines.  Such smoke detectors that are found to be non-operational, damaged, or missing shall be replaced with a hard wire AC powered smoke detector of similar or like-type.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 69-2003, approved 4-16-2003)

§ 94.04 ENFORCEMENT.

§ 94.04  ENFORCEMENT.

   (A)   The Chief of the Fire Department, Fire District, or Code Official or any of their designated representatives, are hereby authorized and directed to enforce all provisions of this subchapter and the final determination concerning compliance herewith shall be the sole discretion of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), as described in 815 KAR 10:060, of the Fire Department, or the Fire District, or Code Official.  Upon the presentation of official credentials, an authorized inspector of the Fire Department, Fire District or Code Official, may enter with consent any premises covered by these regulations to perform the duties imposed upon him or her by these regulations.

   (B)   The source of authority to issue orders as described in subsection (A) shall include, but not be limited to, any authority granted under KRS Ch. 227 and 815 KAR 10:060.

   (C)   Any designated representative, as identified in subsection (A), who discovers a failure to comply with § 94.02(A), may remediate the failure to comply by installing one suitable smoke detector.  Costs of remediation shall may be assessed to the owner of the dwelling or dwelling unit.  Costs of remediation shall be capped at $50, exclusive of any other fines, fees or penalties that may be assessed.  In the event of a remediation in which one suitable smoke detector is installed by a designated representative, the installation does not automatically bring the dwelling unit into compliance with the proper code requirements and all dwelling units shall be required to comply with the appropriate installation and maintenance requirements for a dwelling unit.

   (D)   Upon receiving the smoke detector, the Chief of the Fire Department, Fire District, or Code Official will leave written notice to the property owner who resides in the property of the cost associated with purchasing and installing the smoke detector; the letter shall also include instructions for voluntary reimbursement to the Fire Department.

(Lou. Metro Ord. No. 69-2003, approved 4-16-2003; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No. 73-2014, approved 5-22-2014)

 

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Thanks and I  had a great time talking to KREIA members.

 

Robert Kirchdorfer

Director - Department of Codes & Regulations

Louisville Metro Government

(502) 574-2886

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