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Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 4:50 PM

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector & California Requirements


We just moved to CA, and wondering about the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We had these in our previous system (the original Simplisafe) when we lived in OH, and loved the fact that these were monitored, so that if we left the house, we didn't have to worry.

Here, both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have some pretty strict regulations - among them is the fact that apparently, these types of devices need to have a non-removable, 10-year battery. I know the original Simplisafe had removable batteries in both devices - is this the case in the new Simplisafe smoke/CO detectors, or is there a California-specific version that are available?

I much prefer to have a monitored system, but seems if the state requires non-removable batteries, and Simplisafe doesn't have that, I'm not able to get monitoring (unless I add to the 8+ smoke/CO detectors I'm required to have already).

Community Admin


535 Messages

4 years ago

Hi @elliot.n.lav,

Thanks for posting here on the SimpliSafe forums! Unfortunately, the Smoke and CO detectors for the All-New SimpliSafe system have the same removable batteries as the ones for the Original SimpliSafe system. Your best bet may be to contact Permits@SimpliSafe.com since they are the most up to date on Fire codes throughout the country. They may come up with some ideas to help get you a monitored system.

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security

2.2K Messages

4 years ago

I'm pretty sure it's not a "law" that you can be arrested for (but hey, it is CA, and they have some wacky laws), but a "building code" which is a factor only if you have an "inspection".  That is, if the dwelling is new and has not yet passed it's final inspection, or if you make a change to the fire/CO "system" which requires a building permit.  Otherwise, you will likely get away with using whatever you want.

Note that the reason they have rules like this is because people have a tendency to take batteries out of smoke detectors either because they need them somewhere "more important" or because the smoke detector is annoying them by going off invalidly (like if you are sawing drywall with a power tool or cooking, badly).  Also, because the lifespan of the detector is 10 years.

An option if you were handy would be to get a 10 year battery, seal it in an enclosure and seal the enclosure to the detector (ie via superglue) so the battery and wiring could not be accessed..

A possible option if you are really, really,  handy would be to take apart a SS smoke detector, get access to the transmission circuitry and hook it to an alarm signal from the "legal" detectors.  Since I've never taken either a SS or non SS detector apart and traced the circuitry, I don't know if this would be practical, but if so, might be the ultimate solution to your situation.

The "easiest" but most annoying solution would be to have both types.  I can't say for sure, but I'll bet that as long as you have what code requires, they could care less what additional detectors you have..
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