Law:Title 9. Safety. Subtitle A. Public Safety from Chapter 766. Fire Safety In Residential Dwellings (Texas)

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Subtitle A. Public Safety

Contents

Chapter 766. Fire Safety In Residential Dwellings

Section 766.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Carbon monoxide alarm" means a device that detects and sounds an alarm to indicate the presence of a harmful level of carbon monoxide gas.

(2)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Insurance.

(3)  "Fossil fuel" includes coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon products.

(4)  "One-family or two-family dwelling" means a structure that has one or two residential units that are occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by individuals.

(5)  "Smoke detector" means a device or a listed component of a system that detects and sounds an alarm to indicate the presence of visible or invisible products of combustion in the air.

(6)  "Smoke detector for hearing-impaired persons" has the meaning assigned by Section 792.001.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 766.002.  Smoke Detector Requirement.

(a) Each one-family or two-family dwelling constructed in this state must have working smoke detectors installed in the dwelling in accordance with the smoke detector requirements of the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the dwelling is located, including performance, location, and power source requirements.

(b)  If a one-family or two-family dwelling does not comply with the smoke detector requirements of the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the dwelling is located, any home improvement to the dwelling that requires the issuance of a building permit must include the installation of smoke detectors in accordance with the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the dwelling is located, including performance, location, and power source requirements.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 766.0021.  Smoke Detector For Hearing-impaired Persons.

(a) A purchaser under a written contract for the sale of a one-family or two-family dwelling may require the seller to install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons if:

(1)  the purchaser or a member of the purchaser's family who will reside in the dwelling is a hearing-impaired person;

(2)  the purchaser provides written evidence of the hearing impairment signed by a licensed physician; and

(3)  not later than the 10th day after the effective date of the contract, the purchaser requests in writing that the seller install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons and specifies the locations in the dwelling where the smoke detectors are to be installed.

(b)  If the seller is required to install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons under Subsection (a), the seller and purchaser may agree:

(1)  which party will bear the cost of installing the smoke detectors; and

(2)  which brand of smoke detectors to install.

(c)  The seller must install the smoke detectors not later than the closing date of the sale of the dwelling.

(d)  A purchaser may terminate the contract to purchase the dwelling if the seller fails to install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons as required by this section.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 766.0025.  Fraternity And Sorority Houses.

(a) In this section, "fraternity or sorority house" means a dwelling that:

(1)  is a separate structure and that is not a multiunit residential property composed of multiple independent residential units; and

(2)  serves as living quarters for members of a fraternity or sorority.

(b)  The owner of a fraternity or sorority house must have working smoke detectors installed in the fraternity house or sorority house in accordance with the smoke detector requirements of the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the fraternity or sorority house is located, including performance, location, and power source requirements.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 766.003.  Information Relating To Fire Safety And Carbon Monoxide Dangers.

(a) The department shall prepare information of public interest relating to:

(1)  fire safety in the home; and

(2)  the dangers of carbon monoxide.

(b)  The information must inform the public about:

(1)  ways to prevent fires in the home, and actions to take if a fire occurs in the home;

(2)  the need to test smoke detectors every month to ensure the smoke detector is working;

(3)  replacing the battery in a battery-operated smoke detector every six months;

(4)  the need to have fire safety equipment in the home, including fire extinguishers and emergency escape ladders;

(5)  the need to develop and practice a fire escape plan;

(6)  the availability of carbon monoxide detectors;

(7)  using carbon monoxide alarms as a backup to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning; and

(8)  the need to properly use and maintain fossil fuel-burning appliances.

(c)  The department shall distribute the information described by this section to the public in any manner the department determines is cost-effective, including providing the information on the department's Internet website and publishing informational pamphlets.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.


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