A bill that would require smoke detectors in all day-care homes, regardless of size, was approved Monday by the Legislature--11 days after two babies died of smoke inhalation at a Huntington Beach baby-sitter's home equipped with only a fire extinguisher.
The new requirement was added to a bill by state Sen. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) last week after the Orange County fire underscored the confusing array of state and local day-care regulations, some of which contradict each other.
The Assembly passed the bill 69 to 3. It previously had cleared the Senate 37 to 0.
If Watson's bill is signed by the governor, as expected, both fire extinguishers and smoke detectors would be required for a facility to be licensed as a family day-care center in California.
Current licensing laws for day-care centers caring for fewer than seven children--such as the Huntington Beach fire site--allow a choice of either device.