American Alarms Blog

Iowa Passes Carbon Monoxide Legislation

by Adam Jacobs 7/2/2020

 

Iowa Senate File 2219 was approved by a 37-11 vote on Monday.  This legislation requires all apartment buildings and private homes to have carbon monoxide detectors if constructed after July 1, 2018.  The only exempt buildings are ones without any fuel-fired appliances (heaters, stoves, dryers, etc.) or attached garages.
 
Here are some highlights of the new code.
 
- New apartment buildings (built after July 1, 2018) will need to have some type of CO detection in each unit's sleeping areas.  Exact placement may vary slightly based on manufacturer's installation instructions.  The legislation does not specify that these detectors must be system-type detectors connected to a monitored panel.  They can be AC-powered, battery-powered, or part of a fire alarm system.
 
- Hearing-impaired tenants can request a CO detector with visual notification (strobe light).  The building owner must provide this accommodation within 30 days of the request.
 
- If owner fails to provide a detector, as specified in this new code, after 30 days the tenant has the right to purchase and install one on their own and deduct the cost from their next rent payment.  If they've rented for longer than 30 days, owner can make renter pay for the battery.  (interesting language in Sec. 6)
 
This new legislation appears to be state-wide adoption of language that has been in national codes for a while.  These codes already require CO detection with almost identical language:
 
International Residential Code (since 2009 version) - Section R315 in IRC 2015
International Building Code (since 2009 version) - Section 915 in IBC 2015 
International Fire Code (since 2009) - Section 915 in IFC 2015
ANSI/UL 2034
NFPA 720
 
The enforcement of these requirements will fall on the state and local fire marshals, similar to other fire/life safety codes.
 
Call American Alarms if you have questions about when and where carbon monoxide detectors are required.

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Urbandale Requires Fire Alarm in Apartments

by Adam Jacobs 7/2/2020

If you own or manage an apartment building with 16 or more units, you've probably received the letter.  It was actually sent back on June 9, 2015.  It gives owners/managers 5 years to bring their buildings up to compliance with this letter.  These are only a portion of the requirements in a similar building constructed today, but it still could be a significant cost.  Installing anything AFTER construction is complete is more expensive.  But there are options to get a building into compliance, with minimal impact on residents and your budget.  This letter is really a "step in the right direction" rather than a full-blown all-in fire alarm system.  A pull station here, a horn/strobe there, not much really.  But better than having NO building notification in the event of fire.  These systems are also required to be remotely monitored at a UL-listed central station that will relay a dispatch call to Urbandale Fire Department when a general alarm is activated.  We are getting a lot more calls now, because it's nearing the first deadline - June 9, 2019 - when all letter recipients need to have a formal system plan in to Urbandale for review.  The system, if approved, will need to be installed and inspected by Urbandale FD by June 9, 2020.  There are a few other requirements not related to fire alarm in the letter, so if your didn't get one and you think you may fall under these new requirements, contact Urbandale Fire Department and talk to them.  Call American Alarms for a site survey and estimate on fire alarm to meet the new requirements.  Don't wait until June 8th to call.

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Hotel/Motel Fire Safety

by Adam Jacobs 7/2/2020

Summer is a time when families travel more.  There are some basic tips for fire safety, that will give you peace of mind when you travel.  Here is a brochure from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on hotel and motel fire safety.  Travel safely this Summer!

 

HotelMotelSafety_brochure.pdf (195.68 kb)

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Sleep Safe - a little planning goes a long way

by Adam Jacobs 7/2/2020

Tuck has some great information on everything to do with sleep, including fire safety in the bedroom.  Here are a few tips for better safety:

 

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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

by Adam Jacobs 7/2/2020

When we think of safety, it's easy to think of the firefighters, police officers, and EMS personnel that respond to emergencies every day.  But don't forget about all the other people that work to get those first-responders to the scene of an emergency quickly and safely.

Please take the time to thank 9-1-1 telecommunicators, communications staff trainers, supervisors and managers of communications centers, those that that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, and other public safety telecommunications staff across the country who work hard every day serving the public.

 

Thank you all!

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