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One of the most common questions and topics in our office are related to the NJ smoke detector certificate and requirements. In this new article we delve into the subject.

The process of selling a house requires multiple elements to take into account to achieve a satisfactory and legal closing. The NJ real estate attorney at Curbelo Law is willing to help any individual in any type of real estate matter in the state. 



What are the NJ smoke detector requirements for the certificate In 2024

A fire certificate is a certification that shows that a building has adequate fire-fighting facilities. Such certificates indicate that the property is designed in such a way as to prevent and limit the spread of fire. 

  • Individuals selling a home in New Jersey need a certificate of compliance from the local fire department.
  • Said certificate is the proof that the smoke detectors and the carbon monoxide (CO) detectors that the home has meet the requirements for the sale or transfer of the property.
  • The certificate issued by the fire department is called a smoke certificate. 
  • All homes need working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 
certificate of occupancy in new jersey

Please note that the smoke certificate and the certificate of occupancy in New Jersey are managed together, but are issued by different departments. 

However, not all municipalities require both certificates, some only require the smoke certificate and others only the certificate of occupancy.

Steps To Prepare A Home For Inspection Of Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Below, we’ll help you determine if your detectors meet the necessary requirements or need to be replaced to obtain a certificate of compliance:

  1. Know when the house was built. The first step is to find out when the house was built and the date the last building permit was issued for any renovations done. 
  2. Calculate detector requirements. Using the date the property was built and the date the last building permit was issued, the CO and smoke requirements can be calculated.
  3. List the age of all detectors. The age and location of each alarm must be determined. The date of manufacture is usually on the front and back of these. If there is no date, it is better to replace it.
  4. Compare existing detectors. This step involves comparing existing detectors and the property’s requirements to determine if any or all of the home’s smoke and CO detectors need to be replaced.
  5. Replace detectors. If necessary, all non-compliant smoke and/or CO detectors in the home should be replaced. An electrician may be needed for these replacements.
  6. Replace batteries. Battery-operated smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old or have expired should be replaced with detectors with sealed, non-replaceable 10-year, non-rechargeable batteries.
    1. It is recommended that they be photoelectric and have a silence function to silence any nuisance alarms. 
  7. Verification. After new smoke and CO detectors have been installed, it is advisable to test them for effectiveness. 
  8. Call the local fire department. An inspection should be scheduled with the fire department as soon as a closing date is available. The department will issue a certificate if the appropriate requirements are met.
fire safety protocol in new jersey

The fire department charges a fee for inspection and certification. Also, these recommendations are general, as they may vary from state to state. Contact our firm to learn in detail the steps to follow in the state of New Jersey.

If you want to know more about inspections, read our blog on home inspections in New Jersey.

Recommendations From The Fire Department

The fire department recommends that home residents consider the following tips to prevent any fire incident:

  • Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, every level of the house, the basement, and outside of each separate sleeping area. 
  • Smoke detectors with non-replaceable batteries are long lasting and can be effective for up to 10 years. It is advised that if the alarm warns that the battery is low, the entire alarm should be replaced immediately.
  • All smoke detectors must be labeled by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Smoke detectors must be replaced every 10 years. Your replacements must be with 10-year sealed battery models.
  • Develop an escape plan in case of a home fire with all family members.
  • Close interior doors before going to bed at night.
  • Check the exhaust screen of clothes dryers and remove accumulated lint. This is because it is a common fire hazard in homes. 
elements of the fire certificate in new jersey

For more information on this topic, you can access the official website of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA).

Detector Enforcement Code In New Jersey

As of January 2019, New Jersey’s Uniform Fire Code (UFC) requires a certificate of compliance on smoke detectors before any individual can lease, trade, or sell a property (either single-family or two-family).

  • A homeowner can only obtain a certificate of compliance through the district or municipality that has jurisdiction over the home.
  • A smoke alarm certificate is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
  • A homeowner or renter must install a smoke alarm on every level of the home. Including the basement, the stairs and the common corridors.
    • Also, you should place them no more than 10 feet outside of each separate sleeping area.
  • The law does not require the interconnection of smoke detectors.
  • Detectors can use battery power or run on 120-volt household electricity.

Guidelines For Fire Extinguishers

  • They must be installed within 10 feet of all ranges in the home. In addition, they must be located on the way to the exit point.
  • They must be easily accessible and not obstructed from view.
  • Must be mounted via the manufacturer’s hanger bracket.
  • The owner’s operating instructions for fire extinguishers must be provided during the inspection and left in the home for the new occupant.
  • The top of fire extinguishers should be no higher than 5 feet from the ground.
  • All fire extinguishers must be separated and tagged by a Fire Safety Division certified contractor within the last 12 months or the vendor must have a receipt for recently purchased fire extinguishers.
new jersey flood insurance

Now that you know what the NJ smoke detector and fire certificate requirements are, you may be interested in learning about flood insurance in New Jersey. A more than recommended insurance in this state. 

Why Do You Need Curbelo Law For Your Real Estate Paperwork?

The Curbelo Law firm has been in the real estate business in New Jersey for over 10 years, so you will be in the best possible hands.

Our attorney Carolina Curbelo has the necessary experience and legal knowledge to help you with any type of procedure or certificate necessary for the purchase or sale of a property.

Contact us today to make us aware of the facts surrounding your case so we can offer you a complete private consultation.