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Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.

Requirements for smoke detectors in Chicago condo buildings

For a condo association, you will generally need smoke detectors installed in the following locations: (Refers to common areas only)

  • Stairwells: One unit required at the top of each stairwell.
  • Basement: One unit should be installed in the basement.
  • Electrical Rooms: One unit should be installed to protect these areas.
  • Elevator Rooms: One unit should be installed.

The sections of the Chicago Building Code related to smoke detectors are as follows:

13-64-130 Smoke detectors – Location.
Not less than one approved smoke detector shall be installed in every single-family residential unit and multiple dwelling units as defined in Chapter 13-56, Sections 13-56-020, 13-56-030 and 13-56-040. The detector shall be installed on the ceiling and at least four inches from any wall or on a wall located from four to 12 inches from the ceiling, and within 15 feet of all rooms used for sleeping purposes, with not less than one detector per level, containing a habitable room or unenclosed heating plant.

13-64-140 Smoke detectors – Stairwell installation.
In buildings of Types II, III or IV construction, multiple dwellings as defined in Section 13-56-040 and buildings of mixed occupancy having any residential units, shall contain not less than one approved smoke detector at the uppermost ceiling of all interior stairwells. All approved smoke detectors herein required shall be installed on the ceiling, at least four inches from the wall or on a wall located from four to 12 inches from the ceiling.

13-64-150 Smoke detectors – Standards.
All approved smoke detectors herein required shall be either the ionization chamber or the photoelectric type and shall comply with Chapters 14-8, 14-16 through 14-36 and 14-44 through 14-72* of the municipal code of Chicago. Detectors shall bear the label of a nationally recognized standards testing laboratory that indicates that the smoke detectors have been tested and listed as a single or single and multiple station smoke detectors. All approved smoke detectors installed in buildings hereafter erected shall be permanently wired to the electrical service of each dwelling unit in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 14-8, 14-16 through 14-36 and 14-44 through 14-72* of the municipal code of Chicago.

13-64-160 Smoke detectors – Battery removal violation – Penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove batteries or in any way make inoperable smoke detectors as provided for in this chapter, except that this provision shall not apply to any building owner or manager or his agent in the normal procedure of replacing batteries. Any person found in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $300.00 nor more than $1,000.00 and/or confinement for a period of not more than six months.

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