Are you renting?  Do you know your responsibility when it comes to smoke alarms for your rental property?  Who supplies the smoke alarms?  Do you know how to replace the battery?

In Washington, landlords are required to provide working smoke detectors in the unit, however, it is the TENANT who is required to maintain the smoke alarm.  It is up to the tenant to notify the landlord of any operational issues.  Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $200.

The Washington State Fire Marshal's Office recently issued a press release regarding the rules for tenants and smoke alarms.

  • Smoke alarms should be tested at least every six months to ensure proper operation.
  • Batteries in smoke alarms with replaceable batteries should be changed every six months.
  • Smoke alarms with 10 year batteries should also be tested at least every six months, but batteries do not to be replaced.
  • Smoke alarms that are older than 10 years of age and/or fail to respond to testing, should be replaced by the Landlord.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as necessary.

Last year, 54 people were killed in residential fires in Washington.  About 70% of those deaths were in homes that did NOT have working smoke alarms.

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