Smoke Detector Information

Remember to change your batteries when you change your clocks twice a year at daylight savings time!

Smoke detectors are required by Chesapeake Fire Prevention in residential occupancies and dwelling units containing sleeping areas in accordance with the Statewide Fire Prevention Code, Section 907.2.11:

  • In accordance with the following occupancy types, single- or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in all of the following locations:

907.2.11.1 Group R-1

Occupants are primarily transient - Hotels, Motels, and Transient Boarding Houses.

  1. In sleeping areas.
  2. In every room in the path of the means of egress from the sleeping area to the door leading from the sleeping unit.
  3. In each story within the sleeping unit, including basements. For sleeping units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less.

907.2.11.2 Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 & I-1

  • R-2 - Occupants are primarily permanent - Apartment Houses, Non-transient hotels, motels and boarding houses, Convents, Dormitories, Fraternities and Sororities, Live/work units, Monasteries, and Vacation timeshare properties.
  • R-3 - Single family and duplex, Adult and Child care accommodations for 5 or fewer, any age for less than 24 hours, and Congregate living facilities with 16 or fewer.
  • R-4 - Residential care/assisted living for 6-16 persons.
  • I-1 - Supervised care for more than 16 persons - Assisted living facilities, Congregate care facilities, and Alcohol and Drug treatment centers

Single or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in Groups R-2, R-3, R-4, and I-1 regardless of occupant load at all of the following locations:

  1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.
  2. In each room is used for sleeping purposes.
    • Exception: Single- or multiple-station smoke alarms in Group I-1 shall not be required where smoke detectors are provided in the sleeping rooms as part of an automatic smoke detection system.
  3. In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

Additionally: The Code of Virginia, Section §15.2-922 also applies as follows.

  1. In accordance with the authority specified in Section §15.2-922, Code of Virginia, smoke detectors shall be installed in any building containing one or more dwelling units.
  2. The owner of any multi-family residential building (apartments, condominiums, townhouses, etc.) must provide, in addition to required detectors in each unit, smoke detectors in hallways, stairwells, and other public or common areas and keep them maintained.
  3. The owner of any unit rented or leased, at the beginning of each tenancy and at least once a year thereafter, will furnish the tenant with a letter stating all required smoke detectors are present and in good working order.
  4. It is the responsibility of the tenant to test and maintain the smoke detector inside the rented or leased unit. The owner is obligated to service, repair or replace any broken smoke detector within five working days after receiving written notice from the tenant.
  5. Should the owner fail to install the required smoke detectors, the City of Chesapeake, after proper notice to the owner, may have the smoke detectors installed at the owner's expense.

Note: Compliance with these requirements is the responsibility of the property owner, not the real estate agent of the owner.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this ordinance, please call 757-382-6566, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free Smoke Detector Program

The Chesapeake Fire Department is committed to helping people in need keep their homes safe. If you qualify for a free smoke detector, you may contact the Chesapeake Fire Department Community Risk Reduction Division at 757-382-6566 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or apply online by clicking "Residential Grant Program Application" Once the application has been submitted the Fire and Life Safety Educator will review and get back to you regarding the eligibility

You may qualify for this grant if you meet the following criteria:

  1. A resident/homeowner of the City of Chesapeake
  2. Annual income is based on the number of people in the home, this rate can change from year to year so please call for updated information
  3. Other demographic information

Chesapeake Fire Department will install the detectors in the proper locations for your home as well as provide batteries to qualified homeowners. These qualifications are determined by the Federal Grant Program that provides the funds for us to purchase them.