- Place a smoke alarm in each bedroom and any hallway or room that leads to a bedroom.  Place a smoke alarm on each level. 
- Place carbon monoxide alarms adjacent to the bedrooms and on each level.
- Battery operated are allowed if they are 10 year batteries with State Fire Marshall approval.
- Do NOT install within 3 ft. of the following: door to a bathroom containing a tub or shower, forced air supply ducts, ceiling or whole house fan, or other high air flow areas.

​This is a flyer I created.  English on one side and Spanish on the other

Every garish bedroom has a closet.  Every closet has a smoke alarm.  This was the second inspection.  At the first inspection I provided a handout  that is the info seen here

It's a solar company. I wish I knew what it was that I said that caused them to do this. The housewife was so wound up I bet they had to tie her up while they were installing it. I waited until I was in my truck and then called her on the phone. When she heard that a smoke detector isn't required on the front door I could see the windows bulging out.

I was tempted to tell her, "Oh no, this is all wrong.  It is supposed to be on the back door".  But I wasn't positive that I could outrun her...and when you're not sure about something....

Smoke and co alarms are required every time that there is a permit issued for any work done to a dwelling, inside or out.

 R314.2.2 Alterations, repairs and additions. Where
alterations, repairs or additions requiring a permit occur,
or where one or more sleeping rooms are added or created
in existing dwellings, the individual dwelling unit shall be
equipped with smoke alarms located as required for new dwellings.
Exception: See Section R314.6.

Some will argue that this only applies to building permits and the wording, "Where alterations, repairs or additions requiring a permit occur" eliminates plumbing, mechanical and electrical work.  The solution to that dilemma is found in Section R314.6.

Section R314.6 involves the power source for alarms and requires hard wired alarms with 5 exceptions.  Exception #5 is as follows:

5. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery
operated when work is limited to the installation,
alteration or repairs of plumbing or mechanical systems
or the installation, alteration or repair of electrical
systems which do not result in the removal of
interior wall or ceiling finishes exposing the structure.

​Now it is the installation, alteration or repair of plumbing, mechanical or electrical systems that triggers the requirement for smoke and co alarms.  Obviously there would not be an exception to hard wiring the alarms if the alarms were not required at all. 

​Another erroneous contention is that work done on the outside of a dwelling is exempt.  Roofing, windows, and patio covers.  Even a swimming pool due to the installation of electrical, plumbing and mechanical equipment.

 Section R314.6 Exception 4.

4. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery
operated where repairs or alterations are limited to
the exterior surfaces of dwellings, such as the
replacement of roofing or siding, or the addition or
replacement of windows or doors, or the addition of
a porch or deck.

The code related to the power source is a doozy.  Most AHJs ignore it as does mine.

 R314.6 Power source. Smoke alarms shall receive their primary
power from the building wiring provided that such wiring
is served from a commercial source and shall be
equipped with a battery backup. Smoke alarms with integral
strobes that are not equipped with battery backup shall be
connected to an emergency electrical system. Smoke alarms
shall emit a signal when the batteries are low. Wiring shall
be permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than
as required for overcurrent protection.

1. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery
operated in existing buildings where no construction
is taking place.

2. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery
operated in buildings that are not served from a
commercial power source.

3. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery
operated in existing areas of buildings undergoing
alterations or repairs that do not result in the
removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes exposing
the structure, unless there is an attic, crawl
space or basement available which could provide
access for building wiring without the removal of
interior finishes.

Exceptions 4 and 5 are reproduced above.

​It is eminently clear that hard wired alarms are required.  

​Something that arises occasionally is an alarm system that incorporates smoke and co alarms.  Under certain condition these may meet the requirement of R314.2.2.

 R314.7 Fire alarm systems. Fire alarm systems shall be permitted
to be used in lieu of smoke alarms and shall comply
with Sections R314.7.1 through R314.7.4.
 R314.7.1 General. Fire alarm systems shall comply with
the provisions of this code and the household fire warning
equipment provisions of NFPA 72. Smoke detectors shall
be listed in accordance with UL 268. Systems and components
shall be California State Fire Marshal listed and
approved in accordance with California Code of Regulations,
Title 19, Division 1 for the purpose for which they are installed.

 R314.7.2 Location. Smoke detectors shall be installed in
the locations specified in Section R314.3.

 R314.7.3 Permanent fixture. Where a household fire
alarm system is installed, it shall become a permanent fixture
of the occupancy, owned by the homeowner.

 R314.7.4 Combination detectors. Combination smoke
and carbon monoxide detectors shall be permitted to be
installed in fire alarm systems in lieu of smoke detectors,
provided that they are listed in accordance with UL 268 and UL 2075.

The $1,000.00 threshold is moot.

 R314.8.2 For purposes of clarification, Health and Safety
Code Section 13113.7 is repeated.
a. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a
smoke detector, approved and listed by the State
Fire Marshal pursuant to Section 13114, shall be
installed, in accordance with the manufacturer's
instructions in each dwelling intended for human
occupancy within the earliest applicable time period
as follows:

1. For all dwelling units intended for human occupancy,
upon the owner's application on or after
January 1, 1985, for a permit for alterations,
repairs, or additions, exceeding one thousand
dollars ($1,000).

2. For all other dwelling units intended for human
occupancy on or after January 1, 1987.

The $1000.00 threshold applied during a finite time frame between January 1,1985 and January 1, 1987.  Furthermore, after January 1, 1987, all dwelling units intended for human occupancy are required to have alarms whether any permits are obtained or not.

This section is the only place that a $1000.00 valuation is mentioned and it includes this:

h. This section shall not apply to the installation of smoke detectors in single-family dwellings or factory-built housing which is regulated by Section 13113.8, as added by Assembly Bill No. 2285 of the 1983-84 Regular Session. 

I gave up on trying to explain any of this to my office manager.  Our office manager requires alarms when there is a building permit with $1000.00 valuation for the dwelling and only then to the exclusion of all other permits.  Inspectors are told to do whatever the managers desire.  

I haven't followed that rule until now (5-3-17).  People almost never have alarms where they should be and many have none.  It's been a real pain in the ass.  But you know what, screw it I'll keep requiring alarms wherever I go, for any reason.... from now (5-3-17).

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

 R315.2 Where required. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be
provided in accordance with Sections R315.2.1 and R315.2.2.
Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 17926, carbon
monoxide devices shall be installed in all existing dwelling
units as required in this section.

 R315.2.1 Existing buildings and  new construction. For
existing buildings and new construction, carbon monoxide
alarms shall be provided in dwelling units where either or
both of the following conditions exist.
1. The dwelling unit contains a fuel-fired appliance or fireplace.
2. The dwelling unit has an attached garage with an
opening that communicates with the dwelling unit.

 R315.2.2 Alterations, repairs and additions. Where an
addition is made to an existing dwelling, or a fuel-burning
heater, appliance, or fireplace is added to an existing
dwelling, not previously required to be provided with carbon
monoxide alarms, new carbon monoxide alarms shall
be installed in accordance with Section R315.

The code as it relates to CO alarms is not as restrictive as it is for smoke alarms.  There is no mention of a requirement for a permit.  CO alarms are not required if there is no source of CO.  The CO alarm is not required to be hard wired in the event that there is a crawl space or attic. 

 R315.3 Location.

Carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units shall be installed

and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s published instructions in the following locations:
1. Outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
2. On every occupiable level of a dwelling unit, including basements.
3. Where a fuel-burning appliance is located within a bedroom
or its attached bathroom, a carbon monoxide
alarm shall be installed within the bedroom.

Here is a link to info from Kidde regarding types of alarms:  http://www.kidde.com There are other brands and shop around for the price.​​