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Smoke Alarms


Jun 23, 2011
California concrete jungle
The AHJ that I work for almost follows California law. The CRC is clear that when a permit is obtained for any reason the smoke and CO alarms shall be installed.

The CRC requires hardwired, interconnected alarms. There are exceptions...the truth is that we do not require hardwired, interconnection on any dwelling unless it is new construction. That does not comply with the code but the grief that would ensue if we did follow the code apparently outweighs the risk of killing a few people.


Silver Member
Sep 10, 2010
PA/NJ - Borderlands
Wireless interconnected smoke alarms are pretty easy to install. No need to run any wire at all. Ten to fifteen minutes for each one at the most. So , no, it does not require a licensed electrician or licensed fire alarm company to install them. In your typical 3 bedroom apt. you will have 4 smokes at $50.00 each so $200.00 should cover it. If landlord wants to pay someone to do it he can which will bump his out of pocket or he can provide the sweat equity and do it himself.

Are there actually places where you have to be licensed to install smoke alarms that you find on the shelf at Home Depot?
In the state of NJ to work on a apartment building adding interconnected wireless or hardwired smoke detectors you have to be licensed. Building owner nor super can do it unless they hold a state Electricians license or Fire Alarm installers license.

To just put in a battery powered non-interconnected smoke detector, I can't tell you if it is or not, but with a state license requirement, I would not touch it with a 50ft pole for the liability.

But like I said if you locally don't require a licensed professional to pull the or a permit, then cost is different.