College Smoke Alarms

Oxford city code to require advanced smoke alarms in rentals

The city of Oxford is requiring advanced smoke alarm systems in rental houses such as the one where three Miami University students were killed in a fire last month.

City Manager Jane Howington says the hard-wired systems must be installed by 2006. The alarms are powered by the electricity in the house, not by batteries, and would all go off at once. Fire investigators say at least one of the second-floor smoke detectors in the house where the students died didn't have batteries.

The Miami fire also has brought attention to a handful of bills in Congress that would help increase fire safety in off-campus apartments.

The bills have been introduced before but momentum is growing after six students died in fires over the past two months.