Photoelectric Technology Requirements Added to Ohio Residential Code

At its meeting on December 4, 2015, the Board of Building Standards adopted amendments to the Residential Code of Ohio effective January 1, 2016.

These changes are to Section 314, Smoke Alarms, and affect smoke alarm technology, requiring both photoelectric and ionization technology smoke alarms to be installed on each level within each dwelling unit and that the alarm located outside of sleeping areas must include photoelectric technology. This can be accomplished by using separate or dual-sensor alarms.

NEOFPA testified at the public hearings and requested that photoelectric technology alarms be required in each required location.

The new language, at a minimum, will ensure at least one photoelectric smoke alarm on each level and the smoke alarm outside of any sleeping area must contain a photoelectric sensor.

The language does not specify the location for the photoelectric alarms except for the alarms outside of the sleeping areas. The other locations will be at the discretion of the installing contractor.

The language does not require a photoelectric smoke alarm in every location or in every (or any) sleeping room.

The language allows that if a fire alarm system is installed, the use of only one technology is permitted. This rule acknowledges that commercially available fire alarm systems typically utilize only photoelectric technology smoke alarms.

Due to the limitations of ionization technology to alarm in all stages of a fire, and their increased propensity for false alarms, NEOFPA continues to recommend that photoelectric smoke alarms be installed in each required location in all new (and existing) residential occupancies.

Download the new RCO smoke alarm language here: [wpdm_package id=21]

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