Interactive smoke-detector measure sparks fuss

Ordinance would require interactive smoke detectors on every floor of rentals.
WARREN -- City council members and city landlords disagreed Monday over whether a proposed ordinance requiring interactive smoke detectors is a necessary safety measure or ineffective legislation.
The legislation, which was co-sponsored by Susan Hartman, D-7th, Vincent Flask, D-5th, and Fiore Dippolito, D-1st, prohibits the leasing of any home unless there is one interactive smoke detector on every floor of the building. With interactive smoke detectors, if one detects smoke, all of the detectors in the house also sound the alarm.
The legislation is a good compromise between council members and landlords, Flask said at a meeting of council's police and safety committee.
"It's a cost-effective way to keep our citizens who are renters safe," he said. The smoke detectors would cost around $80 per home, Hartman said.
Landlords Bill and Bob Kruppa said they felt the proposed ordinance would only punish landlords without addressing the real safety issues.
Here's the problem
The Kruppas said that their rental properties already have smoke detectors that meet federal Housing and Urban Development regulations.
The problem is not with smoke detectors' being installed, but with renters' removing the batteries or otherwise disabling the alarms, Bill Kruppa said.
The ordinance would require all new rentals to have the interactive detectors by 2007, Hartman said. Older rentals would be required to have them before the renewal of their license in either April or October of next year.
The legislation originally required that the detectors be hard-wired, and that there should be detectors in every bedroom of every floor. Hartman said she removed those items from the bill to decrease the cost for landlords.

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