Frequently Asked Questions
FIRE PREVENTION AND INSPECTION
I am selling or leasing my home. What do I need to pass my SDCC for selling/renting my property and how can I obtain the required “smoke detector certification”?
A certificate of Smoke Detector Compliance is required at the change of ownership or occupancy for residential properties. It is very easy to obtain the required “smoke detector certification” or “Certificate of Smoke Detector Compliance” as it is referred to in the Code.
You will need:
- properly working smoke detectors that are properly placed according to the year of construction and less than 10 years old;
- all electric smoke detectors installed after 1977 must be interconnected;
- a carbon monoxide detector within 10 feet of every sleeping area;
- a fire extinguisher with a minimum weight of 2.5 lbs. with a rating of ABC and a maximum weight of 10 lbs. installed in or within 10 feet of the kitchen.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention conducts Certificate of Smoke Detector Compliance inspections each Wednesday by appointment only. In order to make an appointment, you or your representative must follow the instructions in the Application Packet and pay a fee of $50 to $150 (exact change, check or charge).
Applications may be downloaded from our website, or may be completed in person and can be done from Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. After you submit the application and pay the fee, an appointment will be made for the inspection. You will need the following information in order to complete the application: the buyers’ name, the sellers’ or lessors’ name, the address of the property, the settlement date and the year that the home was built. All this information should be available on the agreement of sale or from your most recent tax statement.
Please make sure you meet ALL the requirements listed in the application prior to your appointment. Any items that are not met will result in a failure. In this case, you will have to make and pay for another appointment. PLEASE READ YOUR APPLICATION CAREFULLY!
Do I really need smoke detectors in my home?
YES!!! We cannot emphasize enough the importance of properly located and maintained smoke detectors in the home. Without a doubt, they are the simplest, cheapest and most cost effective way to provide early warning against fire. Smoke detectors have been required by law since the early 1970’s in all new homes built in the State of New Jersey. Requirements for the type, location and number of smoke detectors have changed over the years.
All smoke detectors within the dwelling unit must be installed and maintained in accordance with NFPA 74. All AC powered smoke detectors must be audibly inter-connected. Each level of the dwelling unit and within 10 feet of each sleeping area is required to have either an AC or a DC powered smoke detector installed. The table below provides you with the requirements of the Construction Code regarding the number of and type of smoke detectors that are required based on the year the dwelling unit was built and that the dwelling unit must meet the new requirements of the Code. (detectors on each level)
Pre 1975 – battery powered smoke detector on any level
1975-1977 – electric powered on uppermost level
1977-1983 – electric powered smoke detector on uppermost and basement level (if applicable)
1983-1991 – electric powered smoke detector on all levels
1991-present – electric powered smoke detector with a backup battery powered smoke detector on each level and in each sleeping area.
During residential smoke detector inspections, inspectors will be enforcing Mount Laurel Township Local Ordinance 1985-12, Chapter 81, Section 81-24, which states that all smoke detectors must be less than 10 years old.
Remember that the easiest way to maintain your smoke detectors is to test them when you change the battery each fall when you “Change Your Clock, Change your Battery“.
I have a fire extinguisher in my home but I am unsure if it still works. What do I do?
Most fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge at the top of the cylinder near the handle. Check the gauge to determine whether the extinguisher is in the range between “recharge” or “overcharged”. It is not cost effective to recharge most home fire extinguishers due to the cost of recharging. It is more cost effective to dispose of the old fire extinguisher and replace it with a new one.
I’ve heard a lot about Carbon Monoxide gas detectors, are they really worth having?
YES!!! Carbon Monoxide detectors are worth having because they could save your life! Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is created during the combustion process. Combustion occurs when your oil or gas furnace comes on to heat your house. Combustion occurs when you operate your fireplace, gas range in the kitchen or your gas hot water heater. If these devices are not properly cleaned or the combustion by-products are not properly vented, they could build up in the house and you might not know it. This could be especially deadly at night when everyone is asleep. To prevent poisoning by carbon monoxide gas, one carbon monoxide gas detector should be placed in the bedroom area. A second one is recommended in the area of the oil or gas furnace to afford additional protection. Although more expensive than smoke detectors, they are well worth the money!
I live in a Multifamily dwelling and have been told that I cannot use my barbecue grill on my deck or patio. Why?
Unfortunately, barbecue grills, whether charcoal or propane fired, are a serious hazard when not used or stored properly. Many people have neglected to monitor them while cooking and whole blocks of apartment units have burned to the ground as a result. Barbecue grills can be very safe when used or stored properly.
Local amendments to the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code specifically prohibit the use or storage of open flame cooking units (outside of the kitchen area) in multi-family dwelling units. You are correct that you cannot use any barbecue grill that cooks through the use of an open flame on your balcony or covered overhang because you live in a “multi-family dwelling”. Neglect or improper use of your barbecue grill could result in damage to your home as well as your neighbors homes in your building. Please understand that neither the Fire Department nor the Fire Code says that occupants of multi-family dwellings cannot own or operate barbecue grills. They are permitted to own and use them, provided that the grills are operated and stored at least 15 feet from the building. Using grills at least 15 feet from the building significantly lessens the potential for a major fire to occur as well as the potential for significant property damage. Apartment and condominium complexes may have addressed this matter through the creation of specific areas in the community where barbecue grills can be safely used and stored.
Would you like to request the use of one of our facilities?
Just fill out a Facilities Request Form and submit it to us for approval by our Board of Commissioners.
Please be aware that our facilities can only be used for township community type events, i.e. meetings, blood drives, etc. There is never any alcohol allowed in any of our facilities.
Would you like a tour or for us to participate in an event?
Just put your request in writing. Make sure you include the following:
- your contact information
- date of your event
- type of event
- the number of people attending
- location of your event
- any special requests for your event
Then address it and mail it to:Mount Laurel Fire Department Attention: Stacee Delp 69 Elbo Lane Mount Laurel, NJ 08054