Smoke Alarms Image

Smoke alarms fall under the jurisdiction of the Alberta Building Code, playing a crucial role in our homes. When purchasing a home, you’ll likely encounter one of three types of smoke detectors.

The first type, commonly found at big-box stores and lumber yards, is battery-powered and mounted on the ceiling.

The second type is wired to a security system, notifying the alarm company in case of a fire. The security company can then contact someone if you’re not at home.

The third type, typically installed by us, is hard-wired (120 volts) with battery backup and interconnected. Interconnected means that if one smoke alarm is triggered, all alarms in the home will activate.

The Alberta Building Code mandates the use of the third type. If you buy an older home without undertaking renovations, there’s no obligation to upgrade the existing smoke alarms. However, it’s wise to ensure they are operational and not outdated, given their typical 10-year lifespan.

What You Need to Know about Smoke Alarms Construction Image

Renovating or Building a New Construction Home

For renovations or new construction, compliance with the Alberta Building Code is essential. Today’s rules dictate a smoke alarm in each bedroom and a smoke/carbon monoxide combination detector adjacent to the sleeping quarters. This means having a combination alarm within 15 feet or 5 meters from bedroom doors. Additionally, an interconnected alarm is required on each floor.

In Edmonton, building a legal suite in the basement necessitates smoke alarms in the common entrance area and furnace room.

Interconnected alarms ensure all activate if one goes off. While new constructions can easily integrate wired connections, existing drywall may pose challenges for legal suites or basement renovations. A solution is wireless interconnection or RF (radio frequency), allowing devices to interconnect without running wires between alarms. This RF approach is a legal and cost-effective solution to meet building code requirements.

Remember, obtaining permits is crucial for compliance.

Robart Electric is ready to supply, install, and offer professional advice for your renovation and new construction projects. Contact us at 780-238-8195 today.

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