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Cliff Kornegay, Director of NSPIRE QA & Standards, from HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) Office has provided clarification on the following two specific elements of the Smoke Alarm standard:

1.   Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

2.   Smoke alarms should not be installed near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation. 

Both of these references in the Smoke Alarms standard were previously indicated by HUD/REAC to be enforceable requirements, and should have been interpreted as recommendations – not requirements. HUD used the word should instead of must or shall, which was intended to indicate that these two elements are not enforceable and were included as best practices based upon NFPA codes. In short, these two elements of the smoke alarm standard should not be cited as a deficiency.

Mr. Kornegay has confirmed that for all funding programs using NSPIRE, this change should be considered as active of today, and he has stated that a formal update to the NSPIRE Smoke Alarm standard will be forthcoming as a “hotfix”. Additional hotfixes to a few other standards are also anticipated.

If you should have any questions, please contact us.

Scott Precourt is the Managing Partner and Founder of US Housing Consultants.