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West Virginia Fire Safety Resource

e-Guide Index: - Smoke Alarms:
The Importance of Smoke Alarms > It's the Law > Installing Smoke Alarms > Using a Smoke Alarm

It's the Law: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Owner's Responsibility

Under the West Virginia fire code, it is the law that an operational smoke detector be installed in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area within all one- and two-family dwellings.

Tenant's Responsibility

In a rented home it is the responsibility of the owner to install an operational smoke detector, and the responsibility of the tenant to perform routine maintenance on the smoke detectors within the dwelling including cleaning of the unit and replacement of the batteries. If the smoke detector is broken or not working, it is the responsibility of the tenant to notify the owner so that the owner can replace the unit.

It is also the responsibility of the owner to provide and install for a tenant who is deaf, upon written request, a smoke detector with a light signal sufficient to warn the deaf or hearing-impaired person of the danger of fire.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

As of 1999, by law, carbon monoxide detectors are to be installed in any newly constructed residential unit which has a fuel-burning heating or cooking source as well as in a residential unit connected to a newly constructed building including a fuel-burning heating or cooking source.

West Virginia Fire Code

To read the West Virginia Fire Code as it relates to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors please visit: Smoke Alarms are Required by Law in West Virginia.

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