If you rent an apartment or house in Arlington, the owner or management company is responsible for installing and repairing smoke alarms.
Tenants are responsible for maintaining and replacing batteries in their smoke alarms.
Quick Guide to the Fire Prevention Code
Section 907: Fire Alarm and Detection Systems
907.2.11.5 Residential smoke alarms in existing structures. In accordance with the authority specified in Section 15.2-922 of the Code of Virginia (1950, as amended), smoke alarms shall be installed in the following structures, as required by the Uniform Statewide Building Code.
1. All buildings containing one (1) or more dwelling units.
2. Hotels or motels regularly used, offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations for one (1) or more persons.
3. Rooming houses regularly used, offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations.
907.2.11.5.1 Responsibilities of owner, agent or tenants for smoke alarms.
1. The owner or management agent of a dwelling unit which is rented or leased in a residential building containing one (1) or more dwelling units, shall furnish the tenant at the beginning of each tenancy, at each renewal or extension of a tenancy and at least annually, written certification that all required smoke alarms are present, have been inspected, are operational and in good working order.
2. The owner or management agent shall maintain copies of written certification provided to the tenant(s) for the entire lease term that includes an inventory of all smoke alarms in the building, their location and working status. Copies of such written certification shall be made available to the fire code official upon reasonable request.
3. The owner or management agent, or responsible party as otherwise set forth in the lease, shall be responsible for interim testing, maintenance and reasonable care of the smoke alarms, including installation of batteries as required.
4. In accordance with Section 55-248.16 of the Code of Virginia (1950, as amended), the owner or management agent shall repair or replace any inoperative or malfunctioning smoke alarms. Such service, repair or replacement and/or restoration of the alarms to normal operative condition shall occur within five (5) days of their receipt of written notice that a smoke alarm is in need of repair, inoperative or otherwise not properly functioning.