Residential Resale Inspection Requirements for Smoke Alarm, Carbon Monoxide Alarm, and Fire Extinguisher Compliance

Prior to closing each residential property is subject to a resale inspection.  FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO APPLY FOR YOUR RESALE CERTIFICATES, CLICK HERE.  The following items are checked as part of the inspection:

Smoke Detectors

All smoke detectors shall be less than 10 years old (the manufacturing date can be found in most cases on the back side of the detector).

Smoke detectors are required on every level of a residence (basement, first floor, second floor, finished attic, etc.) and in every separate sleeping area. 

  • In homes with only one sleeping area on one floor, a detector is to be placed in the hallway within 10 feet of the bedroom.

  • In single floor homes with separate sleeping areas, detectors are required outside each sleeping area within 10 feet of that sleeping area.

  • In multi-level homes, detectors are to be located outside sleeping areas and at every finished level of the home.

  • Basement level detectors are to be located in close proximity of the basement stairwell.

  • Crawl spaces and unfinished attics that do not contain appliances (HVAC, furnace, water heater, etc.) do not require detectors.

Battery powered smoke detectors that allow for the batteries to be replaced shall be acceptable only until December 31, 2018.  Effective January 1, 2019, only ten year sealed battery powered smoke detectors shall be accepted in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:70-4.19(c) regardless of the age of existing detectors.

Homes that were constructed or retrofitted with hardwired/interconnected smoke detectors shall be maintained as approved at the time of installation.

  • Detectors that are over 10 years old shall be replaced.

  • If repairs to a hardwired/interconnected smoke detector system is required to ensure all detectors sound simultaneously, a licensed electrician may be required.

  • Wireless battery-powered interconnected smoke detectors shall not be accepted as a substitute to existing hardwired systems.

  • Detection devices part of a home security system does not meet the requirements of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code and must be augmented with standalone detectors.

Please refer to the last page of this document for suggested detector placement locations.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms shall be located within 10 feet of all sleeping areas.  Carbon monoxide detectors shall be less than 7 years old or as required by the manufacturer (example: sealed battery units and smoke/CO combination detectors shall be replaced after 10 years).

Where bedrooms are separated and the audibility of the alarm or detector to the occupants within the bedroom area could be seriously impaired, more than one unit could be needed.

Listed and labeled carbon monoxide (CO) alarms may be battery-operated, hard-wired, or plug-in type.  Combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are permitted and must be installed in accordance with the smoke detector placement in sleeping areas.

Fire Extinguisher Requirement and Placement

Effective March 5, 2018 the requirements for the selection and installation for fire extinguishers shall be as follows, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:70-4.19(e).

  • A fire extinguisher must be an approved listed and labeled type with a minimum rating of 2A:10B:C (approximately 4-5 pounds), but shall not exceed a weight of 10 pounds.

    • Please be aware that some commercially available white “kitchen” fire extinguishers may not meet the required rating.

  • The extinguisher shall either: be serviced and tagged by a certified NJ DFS contractor within the past 12 months or the seller shall provide a receipt for a recently purchased fire extinguisher (within one year).The owner’s manual or written operation instructions shall be provided during the inspection and left for the new occupant.

Placement of the extinguisher shall be as follows:

  • The extinguisher shall be within 10 feet of the kitchen and located in the path of egress.

  • The extinguisher shall be readily accessible and not obstructed from view.

  • The extinguisher shall be mounted using the manufacturers’ hanging bracket so the operating instructions are clearly visible.

  • The top of the extinguisher shall not be more than five feet above the floor.