AFCI protecting smoke detector circuit

Good afternoon. I found something that is strange and I would like to get some opinion on this subject. I inspected a condo on the fifth floor. A fire sprinkler system was installed inside the unit and one of the sprinklers was only about only a foot from a smoke detector. An AFCI was installed to protect a smoke detector circuit. Is this acceptable? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Yes AFCI protection is required for a smoke alarm that is in an area that requires AFCI protection for all outlets.


Alarm placement is probably not the best. Looks too close to a ceiling wall juncture.


It’s been in the NEC since about 2002 for Smoke Detectors to be on AFCI circuits

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When I measured the distance, it was more than 12 inches from the ceiling. I didn’t call it out.

AFCIs are not required in my state (UT), By the yellowish color of that smoke detector, I’ll bet it is older than 10 years and should be replaced.


It has to be very close to 12" so I wouldn’t mention that either, but as Larry mentioned it does look very old due to the yellowish color. Also there is no issue with the proximity of the sprinkler head.

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They are required for new construction in Kaysville.

Good to know in case I’m up in that neck of the woods. I actually made the mistake of calling it out on a couple of new homes about three years ago and had a heck of a time confirming it… but found out the legislature approved a code change to first do away with them except at bedrooms and then actually came back and deleted that part that required them at sleeping areas (bedrooms). But I guess a city or local jurisdiction can require them or exceed the state code.

Are they only requiring them at bedrooms or are they required at other areas also?

They were only required in bedrooms. As far as I know. I’m in so many different cities up here that I can’t keep up with who does and who doesn’t. I generally just say that the nec requires it but that the local jurisdiction may not have adopted.

Btw my daughter is a new realtor in St George. I’ll pass you info to her.


Thank you Jim, Have a great day!