Office of the
State Fire Marshal

Hard Wired Smoke Detectors

The General Assembly of the State of Delaware enacted House Bill 216 to amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code relating to Fire Prevention. The Delaware Fire Detection Fund Act empowers the State Fire Prevention Commission to adopt rules and regulations to administer the installation of Hard Wired Smoke Detectors. This program is supervised by the State Fire Marshal.

The application of this House Bill applies to owner occupied residences. The objective of the fund is to ensure the installation of hard wired smoke detectors in every private residence in the State of Delaware. Priority will be given to homes with: handicapped children, handicapped adults, infirm residents and residents 62 years of age and older.

In the event all of the persons falling within the foregoing categories have received hard wired smoke detectors, and there remains funds the State Fire Marshal’s Office shall have the discretion to install additional hard wired smoke detectors based on the following factors. The general health, safety and welfare, including whether there are children living in the home, and whether it is unlikely that the owner has the financial capability to have hard wired smoke detectors installed.

The Fire Marshal acknowledges that smoke detectors save lives. This is why he is dedicated to administering this program. His goal is to have every home in Delaware equipped with hard wired smoke detectors. This program has been assigned a name:

  • Operation/Safety Stop A Fire Emergency This Year

A hard wired single station smoke detector with battery back up shall be installed in the hallway of each sleeping area, and each additional story of family living units, including basements. The smoke detection device is to be hard wired into the building’s electrical system in accordance with the provisions of the National Electrical Code. The installation will have a timetable of thirty (30) days to be completed once an electrical contractor has been chosen and a contract issued.

Single Station Battery Operated Smoke Detectors will be issued to the occupant as an alternative device if a hard wired detector cannot be installed due to existing wiring conditions. The electrical contractor will notify the State Fire Marshal’s Office if such wiring conditions exist. The State Fire Marshal’s Office will handle the projected change in the installation.

Single Station Hard Wired Smoke Detectors will be installed in one and two family dwellings, mobile homes, modular homes and townhouses. The Electrical Contractors providing the installation would have an active license to do electrical work in the State of Delaware. Title 24, Chapter 14 of the Delaware Code (Licensed and Insured).

Owners will have the opportunity to choose a licensed Electrical Contractor from a list provided with an application to perform their installation. An Electrical Inspection Agency will give final approval for wiring connected to the owners electrical system. A copy of the approval certificate from the electrical inspection agency will be sent to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Rules for Homeowners

Smoke Detector Installation

A list of qualified Electrical Contractors will be provided to each homeowner. From this list the homeowner will choose an Electrical Contractor to be used in the installation of the smoke detectors needed in their home (one hard wired smoke detector per floor).

After selection of an Electrical Contractor, the Fire Marshal’s Office will award the contract to the Electrical Contractor. The Electrical Contractor has thirty (30) days to complete the installation of the hard wired smoke detectors.

The Electrical Contractor will contact the homeowner to make necessary arrangements to when the installation will be scheduled. After completion, the contractor will be responsible to contact an Electrical Inspection Agency and have an electrical inspector approve that the installation meets the requirements of the National Electrical Code. You will be notified as to when the electrical inspection will be conducted.

  • The homeowner will be responsible to provide access to the contractor for installation within the allotted time.
  • The homeowner will be responsible to provide access for the electrical inspector to make required inspection.
  • The contract issued to the electrical contractor chosen by the homeowner shall be binding.
  • The sole responsibility for the installation will be between the homeowner and the electrical contractor.


The State Fire Marshal’s Office will work with fire departments, churches, Department of Health and Social Services and community leaders and legislators to identify those residents of owner-occupied homes that are not presently being protected by smoke detectors on each level of their residence.

Smoke Detector Installation Program Application Information

Hard Wired Smoke Detector Pamphlet

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