Parma hopes Cuyahoga County will join them in pushing the state on smoke detector changes

PARMA, Ohio - Several cities in northeast Ohio are pushing for a change in the type of smoke detector you have in your home.

On Monday, the City of Parma passed a resolution that pushes the state to make changes to protect families.

Several cities already have their own ordinances requiring photoelectric detectors. Parma was concerned with the legality of enforcing its own ordinance when the state building code calls for something different, so the city is pushing the state to make changes.

The Five on Your Side Consumer Investigative team first reported on this smoke detector controversy in February.

The NewsChannel5 smoke detector test was shown at the Parma City Council by the NorthEastern Ohio Fire Prevention Association during their presentation on this issue.

"I thought of my own kids and which one of these smoke detectors would I want in my own home if I had a fire and that really hit home," Parma City Councilman Scott Tuma said.

Tuma had no idea there were different smoke detectors until he saw our story. In our smoldering test, the photoelectric alarm sounded more than 9 minutes faster. It's an alarm that's "not" in the majority of homes.

"Why haven't we had photoelectric detectors required in homes years ago the technology has been there and I'm not sure what the holdup is," Tuma explained.

Tuma is one step closer to getting photoelectric alarms in homes. The Parma City Council passed a resolution that urges the state to require photoelectric alarms in the building code.

I asked, "Do you think you're going to have any success with the state because the state is very firm in saying any smoke detector will save a life?"

"We are going to do our best. We know there are always politics involved. There are always business decisions involved," Tuma said.

The City of Parma hopes nearby towns join their cause and pass similar resolutions. The City of Cincinnati recently passed a rule requiring photoelectric alarms in rental homes after two students died in a fire.

"We want to do something before a tragedy occurs. It certainly would help to have large cities like Cleveland or Cuyahoga County on board to help push this cause," Tuma explained.

Parma says it will work on gaining more support here in Cleveland. We've confirmed the Cuyahoga County Council Public Safety Commission has invited the NorthEastern Ohio Fire Prevention Association to a meeting to discuss the issue and possibilities for Cuyahoga County.

A petition will be made to the Ohio Board of Building Standards. A state committee will review the issue, and make a recommendation.

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