PORTLAND -- Firefighters are working with Oregon lawmakers on a bill that would require homeowners to install disposable smoke alarms with 10-year batteries that can't be removed.

A veteran firefighter in Canby helped draft Senate Bill 126, which he said would be the biggest development in fire safety since 1998, when lawmakers passed the first bill requiring smoke alarms.

Most homes already contain smoke alarms with removable batteries that can be changed whenever they run low, or removed during false alarms. SB 126 would require a smoke alarm with a 10-year, non-removable battery.

Canby Fire District Chief Troy Buzalsky said the bill has three main points.

One is to make sure smoke alarms come with a 10-year tamper-proof battery, he said. Next is to increase where alarms are to include bedrooms and the areas around bedrooms, and also to make sure the smoke alarms are replaced when they hit their life expectancy of 10 years.

A senate committee is reviewing the bill, but it still might be a while before legislators are able to vote on it.


KGWReporter Art Edwards contributed to this report.

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