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Smoke detector requirements up for debate

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A proposal could strengthen requirements for smoke detectors. The ordinance would require a 10-year tamper proof smoke detector. The Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee debated the issue Wednesday afternoon. The proposal was passed out of the committee several months ago only to be sent back to committee for further review.

There are questions about what type of alarm to require and how strict the requirements should be. There are two types of smoke alarms, photoelectric and ionization. Combination models are also sold. Photoelectric is better at detecting smoldering fires and ionization is more sensitive to flames.

The proposal would require an ionization alarm but City-County Councilor Christine Scales is opposed to such narrow language. The ordinance would still have to go before the full council.

“As long as we’re going to be revising the smoke ordinance I believe we should look at it then in an encompassing way,” said Scales.

12 fire-related deaths have been reported in Indianapolis so far this year, only one home where someone died had a smoke alarm.