1. As used in this section:
a. "Dormitory" means a residential building or portion of a building at an educational institution which houses students in rooms not individually equipped with cooking facilities.
b. "Multiple-unit residential building" means a residential building, an apartment house, or a portion of a building or an apartment house with two or more units, hotel, motel, dormitory, or rooming house.
c. "Smoke detector" means a device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which incorporates control equipment and an alarm-sounding unit operated from a power supply either in the unit or obtained at the point of installation.
2. a. Except as provided in subsection 3, multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family dwellings the construction of which is begun on or after July 1, 1991, shall include the installation of smoke detectors in compliance with the rules established by the state fire marshal under subsection 4.
b. The rules shall require the installation of smoke detectors in existing single-family rental units and multiple- unit residential buildings. Existing single-family dwelling units shall be equipped with approved smoke detectors. A person who files for a homestead credit pursuant to chapter 425 shall certify that the single-family dwelling unit for which the credit is filed has a smoke detector installed in compliance with this section, or that one will be installed within thirty days of the date the filing for the credit is made. The state fire marshal shall adopt rules and establish appropriate procedures to administer this subsection.
c. An owner or an owner's agent of a multiple-unit residential building or single-family dwelling shall supply light- emitting smoke detectors, upon request, for a tenant with a hearing impairment.
3. This section does not require the installation of smoke detectors in multiple-unit residential buildings which, on July 1, 1981, are equipped with heat detection devices or a sprinkler system with alarms approved by the state fire marshal.
This section does not require the installation of smoke detectors in hotels, motels, and dormitories equipped with an automatic smoke detection system approved by the state fire marshal.
4. The state fire marshal shall enforce the requirements of subsection 2 and may implement a program of inspections to monitor compliance with the provisions of that subsection. Upon inspection, the state fire marshal shall issue a written notice to the owner or manager of a multiple-unit residential building or single-family dwelling informing the owner or manager of compliance or noncompliance with this section. The state fire marshal may contract with any political subdivision without fee assessed to either the state fire marshal or the political subdivision, for the performance of the inspection and notification responsibilities. The inspections authorized under this section are limited to the placement, repair, and operability of smoke detectors. Any broader inspection authority is not derived from this section. The state fire marshal shall adopt rules under chapter 17A as necessary to enforce this section including rules concerning the placement of smoke detectors and the use of acceptable smoke detectors. The smoke detectors shall display a label or other identification issued by an approved testing agency or another label specifically approved by the state fire marshal.
5. The inspection of a building or notification of compliance or noncompliance under this section is not the basis for a legal cause of action against the political subdivision, state fire marshal, the fire marshal's subordinates, chiefs of local fire departments, building inspectors, or other fire, building, or safety officials due to a failure to discover a latent defect in the course of the inspection.
6. If a smoke detector is found to be inoperable the owner or manager of the multiple-unit residential building or single-family dwelling shall correct the situation within fourteen days after written notification to the owner or manager by the tenant, guest, roomer, state fire marshal, fire marshal's subordinates, chiefs of local fire departments, building inspectors, or other fire, building, or safety officials. If the owner or manager of a multiple-unit residential building fails to correct the situation within the fourteen days the tenant, guest, or roomer may cause the smoke detector to be repaired or purchase and install a smoke detector required under this section and may deduct the repair cost or purchase price from the next rental payment or payments made by the tenant, guest, or roomer. However, a lessor or owner may require a lessee, tenant, guest, or roomer who has a residency of longer than thirty days to provide the battery for a battery operated smoke detector.
7. No person may render inoperable a smoke detector, which is required to be installed by this section, by tampering.
8. A person who violates a provision of this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
[81 Acts, ch 45, § 1, 2; 82 Acts, ch 1157, § 7]
83 Acts, ch 198, § 13; 91 Acts, ch 64, §1-6; 94 Acts, ch 1078, §4
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© 2001 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
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Last update: Mon Jan 22 17:13:42 CST 2001