Free Smoke Alarms

A properly working smoke alarm can play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. Hampton Fire & Rescue's FREE smoke alarm program allows firefighters to furnish and install smoke alarms, or replace batteries if needed, for any Hampton homeowner occupying a residence that does not have one. Unoccupied dwellings and homes for sale do not meet the parameters of this installation program. Request a Smoke Alarm.

The City of Hampton requires that property owners (landlords, rental agents, etc.) provide and maintain a working smoke alarm in each rental unit or property as indicated in the code below.

City Code

Sec. 14-71. - Certificates to be given certain tenants; responsibility for maintenance, repair, etc.

(a) Owners of any unit which is rented or leased and which is required to have smoke detectors by section 14-68 of the City Code, shall at the beginning of each tenancy and at least annually thereafter, furnish each tenant with a certification that all required smoke detectors are present, have been inspected and are in good working order. Except for smoke detectors located in use group R-1 hallways, stairwells and other public or common areas, interim testing, repair and maintenance of smoke detectors in rented or leased units shall be the responsibility of the tenant; provided, however, that the owner shall be obligated to service, repair or replace any malfunctioning smoke detector, within five (5) days of receipt of written notice that such smoke detector is in need of service, repair or replacement. Owners of any hotel, motel, dormitory or rooming house listed in section 14-68 shall, at least annually, inspect, repair or replace smoke detectors and shall keep records of such maintenance. 

(b) A copy of all certificates and maintenance records referred to in this section shall be available for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction and shall be maintained for at least two (2) years.

(Code 1964, § 18-32; Ord. No. 705, 11-18-81; Ord. No. 928, 4-12-89) If you live in a rental property that does not have a working smoke alarm, contact our Fire Prevention Section at (757) 727-1210.

Smoke Alarm Maintenance Tips

  • A good way to remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarm is to change them when you change your clocks twice a year when daylight savings time begins and ends. This occurs in March and November of each year. If you forgot to change your batteries when you changed your clock, there's no time like the present; why not change it today.
  • Test your smoke alarm on a regular basis (monthly) following the manufacturer's instructions. If your alarm makes a "chirping" sound, replace the battery immediately.
  • Never borrow batteries from your smoke alarm, remember, it can only alert you when it is working.
  • Relocate rather than disable an alarm that plagues you with false alarms. Dust and cobwebs can also contribute to nuisance alarms, so vacuum your alarm if needed. If the nuisance alarms persist, replace the alarm.
  • Retire old smoke alarms; they generally have an approximate life expectancy of 10 years. Replace any alarm that's more than 10 years old.