Senate Bill No. 216
(By Senator Ball)
[Passed March 9, 2000; in effect from passage.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section sixteen-a, article three,
chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to clarifying to
whom notice is to be given upon installation, repair or
maintenance of a carbon monoxide detector.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section sixteen-a, article three, chapter twenty-nine of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.
§29-3-16a. Smoke detectors in one- and two-family dwellings;
carbon monoxide detectors in residential units; penalty.
(a) On or before the first day of July, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-one, an operational smoke detector shall be
installed in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area within all one- and two-family dwellings, including any "manufactured
home" as that term is defined in subsection (j), section two,
article nine, chapter twenty-one of this code. Such smoke detector
shall be capable of sensing visible or invisible particles of
combustion and shall meet the specifications and be installed as
provided for in the National Fire Protection Association Standard
74, "Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of
Household Fire Warning Equipment", 1989 edition, and in the
manufacturer's specifications. When activated, the smoke detector
shall provide an alarm suitable to warn the occupants of the danger
(b) The owner of each dwelling described in subsection (a) of
this section shall provide, install and replace the operational
smoke detectors required by this section. So as to assure that the
smoke detector continues to be operational, in each dwelling
described in subsection (a) of this section which is not occupied
by the owner thereof, the tenant in any such dwelling shall perform
routine maintenance on the smoke detectors within such dwelling.
(c) Where a dwelling is not occupied by the owner and is
occupied by an individual who is deaf or hearing impaired, the
owner shall, upon written request by or on behalf of such
individual, provide and install a smoke detector with a light signal sufficient to warn the deaf or hearing-impaired individual
of the danger of fire.
(d) An automatic fire sprinkler system installed in accordance
with the National Fire Protection Association Standard 13D,
"Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential
Occupancies", 1989 edition, may be provided in lieu of smoke
(e) After investigating a fire in any dwelling described in
subsection (a) of this section, the local investigating authority
shall issue to the owner a smoke detector installation order in the
absence of the required smoke detectors.
(f) After the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-eight, an operational carbon monoxide detector with a
suitable alarm shall be installed in accordance with the
(1) In any newly constructed residential unit which has a
fuel-burning heating or cooking source, including, but not limited
to, an oil or gas furnace or stove; and
(2) In any residential unit which is connected to a newly
constructed building, including, but not limited to, a garage,
storage shed or bar, which has a fuel-burning heating or cooking
source, including, but not limited to, an oil or gas furnace or stove.
(g) Any person installing a carbon monoxide detector in a
residential unit shall inform the owner, lessor or the occupant or
occupants of the residential unit of the dangers of carbon monoxide
poisoning and instructions on the operation of the carbon monoxide
(h) When repair or maintenance work is undertaken on a fuel-
burning heating or cooking source or a venting system in an
existing residential unit, the person making the repair or
performing the maintenance shall inform the owner, lessor or the
occupant or occupants of the unit being served by the fuel-burning
heating or cooking source or venting system of the dangers of
carbon monoxide poisoning and recommend the installation of a
carbon monoxide detector.
(i) Any person who violates any provision of this section is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred
(j) A violation of this section shall not be deemed by virtue
of such violation to constitute evidence of negligence or
contributory negligence or comparative negligence in any civil
action or proceeding for damages.
(k) A violation of this section shall not constitute a defense
in any civil action or proceeding involving any insurance policy.
(l) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
rights of any political subdivision in this state to enact laws
imposing upon owners of any dwelling or other building described in
subsection (a) or (f) of this section a greater duty with regard to
the installation, repair and replacement of the smoke detectors or
carbon monoxide detectors than is required by this section.