Who hasn't been awakened in the middle of the night by a chirping smoke detector or alarm? While it can be terribly inconvenient, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms can save your life.

In fact, in Texas, smoke detectors and alarms are required by law in most homes.

Texas is unique among states. Generally, Texas leaves building and fire codes up to local governments to develop and the rules vary across the state.

Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

Even so, according to the Texas Property Code §92.251 – §92.262, Subchapter F., all rental units including apartments, duplexes, condos, and single-family homes must have smoke detectors. At least one smoke detector must be installed outside of each bedroom.

Smoke detectors should be in place before the tenant moves in.  If they are not, a landlord must install one when a tenant requests. A written lease can require that the request is in writing.

The landlord is supposed to inspect and test any smoke detectors when the tenant moves in.  After that, the landlord must check or test the smoke detector whenever the tenant requests it or gives notice of a problem.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement. Fire detectors should be installed inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.

If you own an older home, and it has not been bought or sold since the latest smoke detector codes were updated, then chances are you are not legally required to have smoke detectors in place. However, you will have to make sure they are installed if you ever sell.

Besides, who wouldn't want to protect their family from a fire?

Surprisingly, Texas is one of only six states that does not require carbon monoxide alarms but leaves that up to local governments


Photo: Target
Photo: Target

During the power crisis in February 2021, many Texans lost their lives due to carbon dioxide poisoning. As people tried to find ways to stay warm, some actually ran their automobiles in the garage with deadly consequences.

Fireman sitting on fire truck tired and sad
Matic Grmek

Austin was the first major city in Texas to require carbon monoxide alarms in new and existing residences in 2017 with fuel-fired appliances or attached garages. If you have gas appliances or an attached garage, a carbon monoxide detector could save your life.

Lives could be saved if more jurisdictions around the state joined Austin in adopting this regulation.

Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms save lives. Even when they are not mandated by law, it is far better to be safe than sorry.  In this case, "sorry" could mean the death of a loved one.

11 Most Deadly Animals Found in Texas

Photos of the Animals Most Likely To Harm Texans


More From 98.7 Kiss FM