Fires are one of the most sudden, destructive, and deadly losses we see on claims. Regular inspections, fire suppression tools, and emergency planning are all crucial components of fire safety. The ability to identify a fire quickly is the key to limiting damage and injuries to those inside or nearby. Though every city mandate has its own set of standards, our carrier partners have discovered that there is value in having working smoke detectors. 

NREIG does not require your property to have a specific number of smoke alarms, nor do we require them to be hard-wired. However, you should consider the following regarding the presence of smoke alarms at your property.  

Insurance carriers may diminish or exclude coverage if your property does not have working smoke detectors: If after a fire loss, it was discovered that the property did not have a working smoke alarm, policy details may allow your insurance carrier to deny coverage for the damages. 

Whether a building is occupied, vacant, or under renovation, it is important to have working smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are extremely useful, even in vacant or renovation properties. In many cases, the sound of a smoke alarm has alerted neighbors or those passing by, signaling the need for assistance from the local fire department. Additionally, those working inside of the property are given the best opportunity to evacuate safely after hearing the alarm of a smoke detector.  

Installing smoke detectors in areas such as the kitchen or primary hallway on each floor is a good guideline to follow. Reviewing your local community, city, county, or state guidelines will provide more clarity on suggested locations. Because you are not at the property every day, setting expectations with your tenants and in the lease is important. 

Our Smoke Detector Maintenance log can be a valuable resource. We recommend that a smoke detector log is maintained by you, the property manager, or the tenant at every location in your portfolio.