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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 23, 2023 02:50 PM
From: Representative Jim Haddock
To: All House members
Subject: smoke alarms
In an effort to reduce the dangers of home fires, the Pittston City Fire Department teamed up with the Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross in 2019 to install smoke alarms in the homes of a number of Pittston neighborhoods, free of charge.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke alarms cut the risk of mortality in reported home fires by nearly 50%. Oftentimes, the reason why smoke alarms fail to operate during a home fire is due to them missing, or being disconnected from, their batteries.
On January 5, 2022, a deadly row house fire in Philadelphia killed a dozen residents, including eight children. According to a member of the responding fire department, none of the smoke alarms in the building were operating at the time of the fire despite recent inspections.
A working smoke alarm is an important facet of a person’s home; yet, many will forgo the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms due to the associated costs. For this reason, I will be introducing legislation that would require all rental properties in Pennsylvania to install 10-year tamper-resistant smoke alarms when a new occupant takes residence, when a smoke alarm is being replaced, or when a new alarm is being installed.
Requiring rental properties to install tamper-resistant smoke alarms powered by a nonremovable and nonreplaceable battery will directly address the leading cause of inoperative smoke alarms and will help prevent future tragedies.
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB741