Morris Plains the Community of Caring
531 Speedwell Ave, Morris Plains, NJ 07950     973-538-2224

Smoke Detectors – When and what is required

The following guide will answer the time worn question…What is required for this residential dwelling?

Residential Dwelling Built Prior to 1977

There were no smoke detector requirements. If no smoke detector upgrades have been done, then one battery-operated smoke detector is required on each level including the basement.

Residential Dwelling Built from Jan 1, 1977 to Feb 21, 1983

These dwellings were built with an electric smoke detector on the sleeping level and in the basement. They were not interconnected. The original smoke detector system must be working and a battery operated detector bust be installed on any level not currently equipped with a detector.

Residential Dwelling Built from Feb 22, 1983 to April 30, 1993

These dwellings were built with an electric smoke detector on every level including the basement. They are interconnected. The original smoke detector system must be working.

Residential Dwelling Built from May 1, 1993 to Present

These dwellings were built with interconnected electric smoke detectors with battery backup. They are located on every level including the basement, in the vicinity of sleeping areas, and in every sleeping area. The original smoke detector system must be working.

Additional Information

  • When a dwelling has undergone a modification or increase in size that would have required an upgrade in the smoke detector system, the new system must be in working order.
  • The rules regarding a split-level dwelling allow you to eliminate a smoke detector on one level when there is a smoke detector on the level above and no intervening door between the levels.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Where and what is required

Carbon Monoxide detectors are required in all dwelling units. They may be battery operated, an electric plug-in unit that installs in an electrical outlet, or wired by an electrician which requires a construction permit.

All of the installation options below will meet the requirements for placement:

  • A battery operated unit ceiling or wall mounted in all immediate sleeping areas centrally located (easiest and most cost effective option).
  • An electric plug in unit installed in an outlet in a central location such as a hallway. If no outlet is available you may install these units in each bedroom.
  • An electrician with a construction permit may wire carbon monoxide detectors as required by the Uniform Construction Code. A central monitoring company if you so choose may also monitor these types of units.

All detectors must be UL Listed and found to be properly placed and in operating order  at the time of inspection.


Christopher Shay
Chief of Fire Prevention Bureau
Fire Marshal / Fire Official A.A.S./F.O.
531 Speedwell Avenue
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
973-590-2402 FAX