Smoke Detectors


Old 04-07-05, 05:38 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 149
Smoke Detectors

Hello again,

I plan on installing hard wired smoke detectors when I rewire my house. In my notes, I have noted that they should be installed on a regularly used circuit - hallway lights for example which I'm sure I picked up from here. Then I have AFCI? circled.

I remember reading someplace that AFCI was required for smoke detectors - but I'm no longer sure where, and obviously questioned it. I know AFCI protection is required for bedroom circuits.

Must smoke detectors be on an ACFI protected circuit?

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Old 04-07-05, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
There is no blanket code that requires AFCI on smoke detectors. But the NEC does require AFCI on all bedroom "outlets" (you know the definition of "outlet", right?), which includes bedroom smoke detectors. However, many cities have amended the NEC to remove the AFCI requirement for smoke detectors. Bottom line: check locally.
Old 04-07-05, 07:42 PM
txdiyguy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 249
Be sure to wire all the smoke detectors together. Some refer to this as wiring them in "series" but that isn't technically accurate. But it does mean that you'll need either 14-3 w/g or 12-3 w/g between all of your detectors (depending on whether you go with a 15 or 20 amp circuit). What this does is to make it where if one detector is activated, all of them go off.
I put them on the same circuit that I install for the all the bedroom lights (for 3-4 bedroom homes). Yes, it adds an additional AFCI breaker in the panel but I prefer to keep the receptacles separate from the lighting because of the nuisance of cyclic dimming of lights when using high wattage appliances (worst is an iron) or motorized appliances (vacuum cleaners) on bedroom circuits. If I end up separating the master bedroom lighting from the rest of the house, I like to put the pantry light on this circuit because someone would notice it even if the non-master bedrooms weren't being used every day. I don't think wiring the detectors together is a code requirement but rather is a local requirement in all of the municipalities in which I work.
Old 04-07-05, 10:17 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 149
Thanks guys!!

John - yes, I do understand that the term 'outlet' applies to receptacles, lighting and smoke detectors. And thanks for jogging my memory!!! The question mark - means ask!!! DOH!! I recall that I had a vague notion that the detectors must be on their own AFCI protected circuit. You have clarified that.

tx - Thanks for the info. I'm still in the research stage, but the thought of all of the detectors going off if one does sounds good to me!! Unless I'm cooking, that is....

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