Law would change smoke detectors for Cincy rentals

Feb 19, 2013

Cincinnati Council could soon pass an ordinance requiring most city landlords to replace the smoke detectors in their rental units.  

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld are holding a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the proposed legislation.  

It would require all rental properties in the city to be equipped with photoelectric smoke detectors.  Sittenfeld said estimates show 90 percent of all households right now have an ionization detector.

“We basically tried to do our research, let science drive this decision,” Sittenfeld said.  “In the event of a smoldering, smoky fire the probability of failure for an ionization detector is an alarming 55.8 percent.  A photoelectric alarm is 14 times less likely to fail.”

Photoelectric detectors quickly sense smoke from smoldering, smoky fires, which is how most fatal house fires begin.  Ionization units better sense smoke from flaming, fast-moving fires.  

Council could vote on the change in about a month and landlords could have up to 2 years to switch the detectors in the rental units.