Is a landlord required to maintain a smoke detector or provide a fire extinguisher/sprinklers?

UPDATED: May 17, 2011

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Is a landlord required to maintain a smoke detector or provide a fire extinguisher/sprinklers?

There was a firs and 2 smoke detectors did not work. Also, there were no fire extinguishers or sprinklers installed in the apartment. In IN.

Asked on May 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As of January 2010 24 states have enacted laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms.  Indiana's code on smoke detectors has a focus on the responsibilities of the tenant, and not the landlord.  In other words, under Indiana law the landlord is not required to act but rather the tenant has that responsibility in the first instance.  Here is the law:

32-31-7-5 Duties of tenant during occupancy

(6) Ensure that each smoke detector installed in the tenant's rental unit remains functional and is not disabled. If the smoke detector is battery operated, the tenant shall replace batteries in the smoke detector as necessary. If the smoke detector is hard wired into the rental unit's electrical system, and the tenant believes that the smoke detector is not functional, the tenant shall provide notice to the landlord under IC 22-11-18-3.5(e)(2).

Now, the last line leads me to believe that the burden may shift to the landlord on notice by the tenant.  I would check with local tenant groups on the matter and research this section of the Indiana Code.  As for fire extinguishers and/or sprinklers, they may be specific to the type of dwelling.  You can ask a local Fire Chief.  SOmetimes they are aware of the law.  Good luck.


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