(a) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 68-120-112

  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

(1) “Apartment building” means any building containing three (3) or more living units with independent cooking and bathroom facilities, whether designated as apartment house, tenement, garden apartment, or by any other name. “Apartment building” does not include condominium projects;

(2) “Approved smoke detector” means a device that senses visible or invisible particles of combustion and that has been investigated and listed in accordance with standards prescribed by:

(A) A nationally recognized and approved independent testing agency or laboratory, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories’ Standard for Single and Multiple Station Smoke Detectors (UL 217); or

(B) An agency authorized to make independent inspections by the state fire marshal; and

(3) “Hotel” means any building providing sleeping accommodations for guests, travelers, or semi-permanent residents. “Hotel” includes motels, inns, boarding homes, lodging homes, rooming houses, tourist homes, hostels, dormitories, and so-called apartment hotels.

(b) It is unlawful to:

(1) Own or operate a hotel without installing an approved smoke detector in every room of the building that is ordinarily used for sleeping purposes;

(2) Own or operate an apartment building without installing an approved smoke detector in every living unit within the apartment building. When activated, the detector shall initiate an alarm that is audible in the sleeping rooms of the unit; or

(3) Tamper with or remove any smoke detector required by this section, or a component of a smoke detector.

(c) (1) All smoke detectors required by this section:

(A) Shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, unless they conflict with applicable law; and

(B) May be wired directly (hardwired) to the building’s power supply, powered by a self-monitored battery, or operated with a plug-in outlet fitted with a plug restrainer device; provided, that the outlet is not controlled by any switch other than the main power supply.

(2) The provisions of this section shall apply only to existing buildings. Smoke detectors shall be installed and maintained in new buildings in accordance with the applicable building construction safety standards as provided in § Code Sec. 68-120-101″>68-120-101.

(d) (1) Any smoke detector required in an apartment building by this section shall be maintained by the tenant of the living unit where the smoke detector is located in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. However, upon termination of a tenancy in a unit, the owner of the apartment building shall ensure that any required smoke detector is operational prior to reoccupancy of the unit.

(2) The owner or manager of a hotel shall be responsible for performance of such maintenance, repairs, and tests as are necessary to ensure that every smoke detector required in such hotel is operational at all times.

(3) No alarm silencing switch or audible trouble silencing switch shall be provided, unless its silenced position is indicated by a readily apparent signal.

(4) Compliance with this section shall not relieve any person from the requirements of any other applicable law, ordinance, rule or regulation.

(e) (1) Any person violating the provisions of this section commits a Class C misdemeanor. Each day on which a violation continues is a separate offense under this section.

(2) The provisions of § 68-120-106 apply with respect to the enforcement of this section.

[Acts 1984, ch. 606, §§ 1-9; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; T.C.A., § 68-18-112.]