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Heat Sensors required in attached garages

Posted: May 17, 2018

Early Fire Warning Device
Heat Sensors required in attached garages

The Manitoba Building Code requires heat sensors to be installed in attached garages in all new residential construction.

New home construction requires heat sensors wired so that they will activate all hard wired smoke detectors within the dwelling. Many homes in East St. Paul were constructed prior to this building code upgrade but were required to have hard wired smoke detectors installed.

The East St. Paul Fire Department recommends homeowners to have a heat detector installed in their attached garage by a qualified electrical contractor which is wired to their smoke detectors as an early warning device.   

The following is a list of building code requirements for heat sensor installation in new residence construction: 

A fixed temperature heat sensor shall be installed in each storage garage that is within, part of or attached to a dwelling unit. 
  • be installed on the ceiling of the storage garage or, if the storage garage has no ceiling, on the bottom of a ceiling joist within the storage garage. 

  • be installed by permanent connections to an electrical circuit and have no disconnect switch between the overcurrent device and sensor; and 

  • be wired so that the activation of the sensor will cause all smoke alarms required to be within the dwelling unit to sound.  

The intent of this new Code requirement is as follows:  
  1. To limit the probability that fire will not be quickly detected in a storage garage attached to the dwelling, which could lead to persons not being promptly notified.

  2. To limit the probability that electrical connections and circuits for heat sensors will be disconnected, which could lead to the heat sensor not operating in a fire situation, which could lead to persons not being promptly notified of the fire.

  3. To limit the probability that persons in one part of the dwelling unit will not be promptly notified of a fire in a storage garage attached to the dwelling unit, which could lead to delays in the evacuation or movement of persons to a safe place, which could lead to harm of persons.   

  • Location of a fixed temperature heat sensor, located as centrally as practical on the ceiling. 
  • For a large attached garage, more than one heat sensor may be required.   


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