Could You Hear Your Basement Smoke Detector From Your Bedroom?

by | Right Bath by Mosby

When planning a bathroom remodel it’s easy to think about tile options, fixtures, and colors. But it’s all too common for homeowners to overlook some of the finer details of remodeling that not only keep the homeowners safe, but are also required by law. Let’s take a look at some important code and safety requirements for bathroom remodeling.

Smoke Detectors

smoke detector

Smoke detector codes vary by municipality, for most of St. Louis County a smoke detector upgrade is necessary when a bathroom remodel involves taking down a partial or full wall. However, St. Charles and St. Louis City do not require this. According to the St. Louis County Department of Public Works, “Smoke detectors with battery backups must be installed throughout the home including:  floor levels with bedrooms, each bedroom and one centrally located outside of a group of bedrooms in the hall way, floor levels without bedrooms, and one adjacent to the stairs. All of the smoke detectors should be hard wired and interconnected so all detectors go off when one is triggered.” Hardwired, interconnected smoke detectors are required if the home is to be code compliant, it is also a fantastic safety feature, one that could prove to be lifesaving.




Next up are some required electrical upgrades. St. Louis County and City websites both state a bathroom is required to have a 20 amp dedicated circuit and GFCI outlet.  Also, our Right Bath Consultant, Paula Glaser, says “It’s recommended by most remodeling contractors that homes with older electrical panels either from companies like Federal Pacific or Zinsco should be replaced. These types of panels are considered fire hazards. The breakers in these panels are known not to trip when there is a surge in electricity causing the circuits to overheat and catch on fire.  Electrical fires are very dangerous, it’s important to update old and out of code electrical components to prevent fires.

Exhaust Fan

Exhaust fan (2)

Finally, we turn to the exhaust fan. The exhaust fan is important to eliminate odors, remove excess moisture, and keep the bathroom properly ventilated.  Per St. Louis County Department of Public Works, a bathroom is required to have some form of ventilation, whether it is natural ventilation of an operable window, or mechanical ventilation with an exhaust fan. “A 50 cfm (cubic feet per meter) exhaust fan vented to the exterior or to the attic gable or soffit vent may be substituted for the natural ventilation.”  It’s important to properly vent the exhaust to the exterior of the home, if not; it can cause mildew and mold issues. According to the CDC, people who are sensitive to mold could be at risk for developing upper respiratory issues, throat irritation, and eye or skin irritation. People with known mold allergies may have more severe reaction.  For more information on the health risks of mold and mildew, visit the CDC:


show me segment


Here’s some more code compliance and safety talk from Right Bath’s Ken Ware on Show Me St. Louis:

As mentioned, code compliance is not only important for the safety of the homeowners, but for protecting the homeowner. If an inspector were to come by a home and find there is work being done without proper permits and code compliance, homeowners would be required to remove and replace the work using proper channels and permitting.

For further information on code requirements and permits, visit these links:

St. Louis County:

St. Louis City:

St. Charles County:

Right Bath will always pull the necessary permits, and perform code compliant work with the homeowner’s safety in mind. If you are in need of a bathroom remodel, give us a call for a free consultation at 314-909-1820, or visit here