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    Ceiling Fan and Smoke Detectors

    Ceiling Fan and Smoke Detectors

    New postby sefnfot on Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:10 pm

    Is there a code that requires smoke detectors to be 3 feet away from ceiling fans?
    The housing dept is citing existing smoke detectors in our small apartment building.
    It would be simple, but they are making us pull new permits for doing this.
    *** a result the aren't allowing the landlord to make the repair ourselves but require a licensed electrician to do it.
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:04 pm

    Re: Ceiling Fan and Smoke Detectors

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:32 pm

    sefnfot wrote:Is there a code that requires smoke detectors to be 3 feet away from ceiling fans?

    The typical smoke alarm (smoke detector) installation instructions states wording to the effect of this (from First Alert - ... ke-alarms/ ):
    - What is the proper placement of smoke alarms?
    - - By vmcnamara | May 4, 2018
    - - - It is important that you have the proper placement for your smoke alarms. Install your alarms at least 20 feet from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles. Alarms should be at least 10 feet from high humidity areas like showers and laundry rooms, and at least 3 feet from heat/AC vents. Be sure to install a smoke alarm in each bedroom, one at the top of each stairwell, and one on every level.

    The building codes usually leave placement (location) of smoke alarms to the fire codes, and while the fire codes have some placement (location) requirements and limitations, the manufacturer's also have placement (location) requirements and limitations (the manufacturer's installation instruction and the fire codes are typically pretty much the same, but local codes/local fire codes may be more restrictive than the manufacturer's instructions.

    This in the above from First Alert - "and at least 3 feet from heat/AC vents" is best thought of as meaning "at least 3 feet from" an air disturbing source: supply vents, return air vents, tips of ceiling fans, exhaust fans (exhaust fans are typically only found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, and smoke alarms are not recommended to be installed in those rooms anyway, so staying away from exhaust fans is usually not an issue). The intent of the smoke alarm location is not to have some air disturbing source blow (supply vents), suck (return air), or push (ceiling fans) smoke from the area where the smoke alarm is located - you want the smoke alarm to go off if there is smoke in the air.

    I recommend asking for the code section which is being referenced by the city housing department, not to 'make sure they are correct', but so 'you can make sure that you locate the smoke alarms in a location which is recommended and also not prohibited, because ... you don't want to have to move the smoke alarms twice'. Wording similar to that should not put the city housing department on the defensive, it will hopefully be taken as you trying to become educated in where smoke alarms should, and should not, be located.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan

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