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VT Condo Fire & Safety: Smoke Alarm Requirements

Safety First!

No one wants to endure the devastation that a fire can bring. In an effort to make our homes safer, the Vermont Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety (say that 10 times fast) enforces code requirements to insure that a minimum level of protection is present in Vermont condos. 

VT Fire Safety Inspections:

For the purposes of Fire Safety, condos are generally considered multi-family dwellings. As such, when ownership of a condo is being transferred, the Division of Fire and Safety requires that a Fire Safety inspection is done prior to closing. The Fire Marshal will note any violations in a report completed at the time of inspection or shortly thereafter. Any major violations need to be corrected prior to closing in order for the Division of Fire Safety to provide a Certificate of Compliance. Most real estate attorneys will require that the Certificate of Compliance is in place before recommending their buyer clients close on the property. In short, a Certificate of Compliance is needed to close. Many attorneys now see this as a title issue. 

Smoke Detectors:

As codes have been updated over the years to improve safety, one of the most common violations that comes up during the sale of VT Condos is inadequate Smoke Alarms. All smoke alarms within a condo must be Photoelectric type and must be "In the immediate vicinity of sleeping rooms, inside each sleeping room, and on all floor levels including the basement". Some requirements vary depending on how many Condo units are in each structure and the age of the construction: These include whether the units have to be interconnected, hardwired with battery backup, have 10 year lithium batteries, or whether sprinklers are required. For a more complete list of regulations, check out this convenient sheet provided by the Division of Fire Safety. 

More Information:

Please utilize the Division of Fire Safety website for more information. We'll have fiollow-up blog posts regarding Carbon Monoxide detectors, Fire Extinguishers, hand railings and more. The Condo Guy Team is also happy to meet with you in person for a free seller consultation to discuss this and other issues that may arise during the sale or purchase of your VT Condo. We recommend always adhering to Division of Fire Safety Codes and Requirements and using licensed electricians whenever necessary. Contact us at anytime with thoughts or questions you may have. 

Have a fantastic and safe condo day!

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