Smoke Detector Rule for Section 202 and 811 Housing Goes Into Effect

HUD's Final Rule that adds a requirement for smoke detectors/alarms to be included in its regulations for subsidized housing for the elderly and disabled went into effect on July 22 [24 CFR Part 891, Docket No. FR-5167-F-02]. This final rule amends HUD’s regulations governing the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program (Section 202) and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program (Section 811).

The rule requires owners to provide a smoke detector and alarm in every bedroom or primary sleeping area, the HUD rule states. Though this requirement is new to the program regulations, the requirement is supportive of the R2–R4 multifamily standards in the International Building Code, the International Residential Code, the International Existing Building Code, and the International Property Maintenance Code, which apply in the vast majority of jurisdictions in the country through state or local adoption.

Requiring smoke detectors is a requirement in most local codes, and fire detectors are generally required for property insurance. According to HUD, given the widespread requirement for smoke detectors, whether as a matter of state or local codes or for property insurance, the inclusion of such requirement in this regulation places no additional burden on any developer or owner complying with state or local codes. Additionally, the rule does not dictate a specific technology or product.