Maryland’s Smoke Alarm Law was in effect as of January 1, 2018. The requirement for a Smoke Alarm with sealed, tamper-resistant units, incorporation of a silence button and using long-life batteries pertains to battery-only smoke alarms. If your smoke alarms are older than ten years, you need to replace them. This includes all single and multi-family homes, apartments, townhouses and condos.
Two-thirds of all home fire deaths nationally occur in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm, most often because they are missing batteries or they have been disconnected. By sealing the battery inside the alarm, the unit becomes tamper resistant and will save lives.
A smoke alarm must meet four requirements under state law:
- Installed in accordance with the National Fire Alarm Code
- Listed and labeled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory
- Able to sense visible or invisible particles of combustion
- Able to sound an alarm that will warn people in the sleeping area
Smoke alarms need to be placed on every level of the home and outside the sleeping areas, such as the hallway accessing the bedrooms, say fire officials. Each bedroom should also have an alarm to ensure sound sleepers are alerted if smoke enters the room.
Smoke alarm requirements vary based on when your house was built. Smoke alarms in homes built before 1989 must be updated if:
- the existing smoke alarms were manufactured more than 10 years ago
- the existing smoke alarms no longer work
- there is a new tenant and the smoke alarms have not been upgraded within the last 10 years
- If none of the above applies, the smoke alarms must still have been updated by January 1, 2018.
To find out if you are in compliance, please contact GAC Services expert electricians for more information, and options for replacing your outdated alarms. Maryland’s new Smoke Alarm Law can help save lives!