CHAPTER 437

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 97

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 2, 3 AND 4

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 66, TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENT OF RESIDENTIAL SMOKE DETECTORS.

WHEREAS, there is a high number of persons losing their lives as a result of fires and smoke inhalation in their homes and in their sleeping quarters; and

WHEREAS, it is perfectly clear that there is insufficient protection in most homes against fires as well as defective provisions for escape from fire thus posing a menace to the health and safety of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, the maintenance of proper housing standards requiring sufficient protection from fire hazards are essential to the public health and welfare; and

WHEREAS, adequate warning in the event of fire is a necessity of paramount public interest.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 66, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto the following new sections to read as follows:

"§6621. Residential Smoke Detectors

Any residential building or mobile home, or any part thereof, newly erected, or with major renovations or structural alterations costing $5,000 or more, as evidenced by a building permit, after the effective day of this section, so as to be used, either in whole or in part, as a home, residence or sleeping place for one or more persons, either permanently or transiently, shall contain as a part of the newly erected building or of the alteration or renovation a fire detection system which automatically senses visible or invisible particles or products of combustion and activates a fire alarm sufficient to afford warning to the occupant or occupants thereof of the impending danger of fire.

§6622. Location, Installation, Equipment

(a) The State Fire Marshal's Office, with the approval of the State Fire Prevention Commission, shall prepare and publish rules and regulations with respect to the number, type, and location of smoke-detecting devices.

(b) All detection systems shall be installed in conformance with the rules and regulations adopted under authority of this Section.

(c) Once installed, all detection systems shall be inspected by the State Fire Marshal's Office or the agency in each political subdivision responsible for certification and approval of residential housing units prior to occupancy of any new building described in §662 l.

(d) An approved automatic sprinkler system may be installed in lieu of a smoke detection system when approved by the Fire Marshal's Office.

§6623. Penalty

(a) Every owner of any building required to have smoke detectors in accordance with the provisions of §6621 through §6622 of this Chapter, or person in charge thereof, whether an individual or a body corporate, who fails to comply with the provisions of §6621 through §6622 of this Chapter shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100), nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500) for each offense. The Justice of the Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over any violations of this Section.

(b) The State Fire Prevention Commission, the State Fire Marshal or the Attorney General may, in addition to other remedies provided by this section institute injunction, mandamus, abatement or any other appropriate action or actions, proceeding or proceedings to prevent any continued violations of the provisions of this Section." Section 2. This Act shall become effective January 1, 1983.

Approved July 23, 1982.