1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Smoke Detector installations

    Hi all,

    I have heard fire prevention personnel express their concerns about the liability of installing smoke detectors in single family residences who do not have them. Has any agency had an experience where someone or their familiy sued the fire prevention/department who installed a smoke detector and a fire occured? If so what was the result. Please give details and a direction to contact the agency for more information and to confirm the circumstances.

    Our agency currently installs smoke detectors and distributes brochures, information, and a letter advising the owner/occupant that it is their responsibility to maintain the SD.

    Thanks in advance for any help.


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have heard some stories about fire oficials and department being sued for installation of smoke detector's. I can not find any details on if cases actually occurred.
    My office (fire marshal) does provide free detectors to senior's and low income homes. We install them as per manufacturers instructions and document that this in our report. We also document that installation instructin were reveiwed with the resident/homeowner and given to them.

    You can be sued by anyone any time for also most anything. It is in your ability to defend yourself is what counts. Document, document and document. Provide the service because it is important and it matters. So document. Just some thoughts.

  3. #3
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Durham, NH


    To those that won't give or install smoke detectors for fear of liabiltiy: This is definately a case of fear of liability out of control. Would you rather have a fatal fire because you didn't offer the smoke alarm. What liabilty do you have then, especially if this person called and asked for a smoke alarm and you said "sorry we don't do that".I agree if you install smoke alarms they should be installed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, and that you should be teaching maintenanc and documenting everything. Beyond that if you fear liability that much maybe your in the wrong line of work.
    Mark W. Tetreault, Fire Marshal
    Durham Fire Department
    51 College Road
    Durham, NH 03824
    FAX 862-1426

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    There's a case right now where the Pontiac, Michigan police and fire departments are being sued over a smoke detector that was installed by them and then failed to work during a fire and a man died. I'm not sure on the specifics, but i'm sure if you gave them a call they would be more then happy to help you. The police department # is (248)338-1000. FD is (248) 333-7001. Hope it helps.....

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