A recently completed house on Morgan Loop in south Anchorage has several smoke detectors. But unlike some, the home’s smoke detectors all go off at the same time.

The alarms are interconnected, which Anchorage firefighters like.

"The benefit we see is being able to alert people in different parts of the house, almost at the same time, almost simultaneously, rather than having to wait for the smoke to move to a place where they're actually located," said Anchorage Fire Marshal Brian Dean. 

The municipality has required all new homes to have interconnected smoke detectors since 2012. Smoke detectors that are not connected to others work, but firefighters say that poses a problem.

"If this was to go off, say, in a back bedroom, and you were in another part of the house, with the water running, or the shower perhaps, you might not hear it with the doors closed," said Dean. "Existing homes don't have to have the interconnection unless they do a major renovation, add bedrooms, change the use or occupancy of a facility or a home."

Municipal code requires smoke detectors in all existing dwellings.

"The smoke alarm is designed to sense the smoke, only then will it go off, unless it's interconnected with other smoke alarms," Dean said.

Carbon monoxide alarms are also required in existing dwellings but aren’t required to be interconnected.

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