Can I tao into smoke detector 110v for can light?


Active Member
I plan on adding a can light to my ceiling and there is no power source real close except a smoke detector.

Can I tap into it or does it need a dedicated line for controlling the other smoke detectors?
Short answer: NO
If you want to possibly compromise the only life-safety system protecting the lives of everyone who enters your home go ahead and tap into that light.
I would not do this in my home or anyone elses house.

If you cut and notch the sheet rock and ceiling joists you will be able to get electricity from about anywhere you need it.
Actually, it may not be such a bad idea.

You'd notice if your light quit working because the breaker was off.

If there is something in the National Electrical Code that says you can't, I'd like to be educated. ;)
Actually if you do things up to code, it should not be a problem. After all it is a simple 110v line going to the dector, I am amost positive it is not a dedicated line. Do use caution however, and keep in mind how important the dector is. Also, make sure to stay within the amp ratings of that breaker, which should not be prooblem ifyou are just hooking up a single incadecent light.
My 1995 built home has wired in smoke detectors and each of them are on the circuits for the rooms they are in. If the rooms breaker is off they switch to battery and start chirping once every 5 minutes. This makes me pretty sure that the code in 1995 allowed mixed circuits.

As for 2006 NEC or your local code enforcement people I have no idea.
My circa 1992 home has them all on a separate circuit. So the codes may vary by region too. I almost did the same thing but found a different source to tap.
If I can remember all the way back a few month ago when I was reading the 2005 NEC book Smoke Detectors are required to be on their own circuit. I would not recommend taping into your smokes. With the proper tools it should be easy enough to run new wiring. If you do not feel comfortable doing it your self then hire a pro. It might run you $100 to $150 but it will be better than taping off your smokes. We would not want to read that story on cocoontech about how your house burned down and you were not warned to get out.
Oh, and to top it off most states require a licensed person to tamper with your smokes and any other fire prevention devices such as sprinkler systems. You could be voiding your fire insurance/home owners insurance by tinkering with it.
With this much discrepency I can see that it is best to put it on a seperate circuit and I won't worry about it later. :huh:
The NEC (NFPA 70) does not specify requirements regarding this. However, the National Fire Alarm code (NFPA 72) does. Here is an excerpt from NFPA 72:

"AC primary (main) power shall be supplied either from a dedicated branch circuit or the unswitched portion of a branch circuit also used for power and lighting. When installing single- or multiple-station smoke alarms, it is good practice to connect the power to a branch circuit serving lighting outlets in a habitable area, such as a hallway, living room, or family room. This is done to ensure that if for any reason the circuit breaker is tripped or in the ‘‘off’’ position, the condition will be noticed more quickly because lights and other loads used frequently in the dwelling unit will not operate. The power connection to a household fire alarm control panel can be connected in the same way. When connecting to a branch circuit that serves lighting and other loads, the installer must ensure that the
circuit is not overloaded, causing the circuit breaker to frequently trip. Some state and local codes may require this power connection to be made to a dedicated branch circuit. Consult with the authority having jurisdiction to determine if local codes or regulations differ from Code requirements in this section. For standard (as compared with those addressed in subsection 11.6.7) single- and multiplestation alarms, the power must not be connected to the switched portion of a branch circuit. Connection to a switched portion of a circuit will likely lead to the alarms being disabled without the occupant’s knowledge."