smoke detectors (posted by Michael Novack)

[ASKNACHI]This question was posted on AskNACHI.org by Michael Novack (from Grand Island, N.Y.). [/ASKNACHI]We recently had a patio room added on to our home, the company that built it went bankrupt and never did any of the electricals. I know the we have to hardwire the smoke detector in the patio room, but what is required for smoke detectors throughout the existing structure? Do they have to be hardwired?

Laws are different in every state so hang tight for a NY guy.
In Illinois they can be battery.

If you are refering to the recent codes it is clear that the smoke detectors have to be hard wired from the building system. They can have battery back up but must be hard wired according to the IRC ( International Residential Code )

Prior to the 2006 IRC it said Hard Wired and some could argue that a system like ADT was considered hard wired but we could argue this back and forth until the language of the 2006 IRC stated that it had to remain in place ( the provisions for smoke detectors ) even if the system was removed…IE: even if the ADT system was removed the smokes had to function…so it means they need to be hard wired to the buildings electrical system…

Many can try to debate the intent…I believe the IRC finally got it right in the 2006 IRC.

The previously existing smoke detectors need only conform to the codes in place when they were installed; so if they didn’t need to be hardwired then, your fine. The new addition must conform to existing codes, which in NYS is hardwired, with battery backup.