2016 Tennessee Code
Title 68 - Health, Safety and Environmental Protection
Safety
Chapter 120 - Building Regulations
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 68-120-112. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in residential buildings.

TN Code § 68-120-112 (2016) What's This?

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Apartment building":

(A) Means any building containing three (3) or more living units with independent cooking and bathroom facilities, whether designated as an apartment house, tenement, or garden apartment, or by any other name; and

(B) Does not include condominium projects;

(2) "Approved carbon monoxide alarm":

(A) Means a device, either battery operated or electrical, that detects the presence of carbon monoxide gas and is listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory approved by the federal occupational safety and health administration to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories Standards ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075; and

(B) Includes a combination carbon monoxide alarm and smoke detector if the device does the following:

(i) Complies with ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075 for carbon monoxide alarms and ANSI/UL217 for smoke detectors; and

(ii) Emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates between detecting the presence of carbon monoxide and the presence of smoke;

(3) "Fossil fuel" means coal, kerosene, oil, fuel gases, or other petroleum or hydrocarbon product that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion;

(4) "Hotel":

(A) Means any building providing sleeping accommodations for guests, travelers, or semi-permanent residents for commercial purposes; and

(B) Includes motels, inns, boarding homes, lodging homes, rooming houses, tourist homes, hostels, dormitories, and apartment hotels; and

(5) "Smoke alarm" means an alarm responsive to smoke and approved by the building construction safety standards adopted pursuant to § 68-120-101; and

(A) Listed by a nationally recognized and approved independent testing agency or laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories; or

(B) Inspected by an agency authorized to make independent inspections by the state fire marshal.

(b) It is unlawful to:

(1) Own or operate a hotel without installing a smoke alarm in every room of the hotel that is ordinarily used for sleeping purposes;

(2) Own or operate an apartment building without installing a smoke alarm in every living unit within the apartment building. When activated, the smoke alarm shall initiate a warning sound that is audible in the sleeping rooms of the living unit;

(3) Own or operate a hotel that has a fossil-fuel-burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, or other feature, fixture, or element that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion without installing an approved carbon monoxide alarm within ten feet (10') of each room used for sleeping purposes; or

(4) Knowingly tamper with or remove any smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm required by this section, or a component of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm.

(c) (1) All smoke alarms required by this section:

(A) Shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's directions, unless they conflict with applicable law; and

(B) May be wired directly to the building's power supply, powered by a self-monitored battery, or operated with a plug-in outlet fitted with a plug restrainer device; provided, that the outlet is not controlled by any switch other than the main power supply.

(2) All carbon monoxide alarms required by this section:

(A) Shall be installed in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the manufacturer's directions, unless the standards or directions conflict with applicable law; and

(B) May be wired directly to the building's power supply, powered by a self- monitored battery, or operated with a plug-in outlet fitted with a plug restrainer device if the outlet is not controlled by any switch other than the main power supply.

(3) This section shall apply only to buildings existing before January 1, 2016. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed and maintained in new buildings in accordance with the applicable building construction safety standards as provided in § 68-120-101.

(d) (1) Any smoke alarm required in an apartment building by this section shall be maintained by the tenant of the living unit where the smoke alarm is located in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. However, upon termination of a tenancy in a living unit, the owner of the apartment building shall ensure that any required smoke alarm is operational prior to reoccupancy of the living unit.

(2) The owner or manager of a hotel is responsible for performance of maintenance, repairs, and tests as are necessary to ensure that every smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm required in the hotel is operational at all times.

(3) No alarm silencing switch or audible trouble silencing switch shall be provided, unless its silenced position is indicated by a readily apparent signal.

(4) Compliance with this section shall not relieve any person from the requirements of any other applicable law, ordinance, or rule.

(e) (1) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor. Each day on which a violation continues constitutes a separate offense under this section.

(2) Section 68-120-106 applies with respect to the enforcement of this section.

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