New Bill Requires 10-Year, Non-Removable Batteries For Smoke Detectors

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Nutter has signed legislation requiring that homeowners who have older, battery-operated smoke alarms installed to replace the devices.

The bill requires all user-installable smoke detectors to have 10-year, non-removable batteries.

Since the early 1980’s, the fire code has required smoke detectors in one and two family dwellings.  Since 1988, all new construction was required to have hard-wired smoke detectors.

But Mayor Nutter says non-compliance is a serious issue that has turned tragic all too often.

“In 2011, 34% of the homes in Philadelphia had no batteries in their smoke alarms, and 22% had dead batteries,” Mayor Nutter says.

The new ordinance requires 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarms.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says they cost a few dollars more than traditional smoke detectors.

“But when you stop and look over the 10-year period by not buying the 9-volt batteries, it’s a significant savings,” Ayers explains.

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