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2018 Welcomes in New Smoke Alarm Laws
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By EMS Captain David Coe
December 30, 2017

On January 1, 2018, a new state law takes effect that effects Smoke Alarms in Maryland. There are several important key updates that homeowners and renters should be made aware of:

1. All battery-only operated smoke alarms shall be the sealed- in, ten year/ long-life battery type device with a "silence/hush" feature. The 9 volt battery only operated alarm are no longer allowed.

2. All smoke alarms that have reached 10 years of age must be replaced. Look at the manufactured date label on the back of the alarm. If you cannot locate a manufacture date, the alarm needs to be replaced

3. All hard-wired (AC powered) smoke alarms must be replaced with hard-wired units with battery back up when they reach 10 years of age. Through the backup battery can be a 9-volt battery, AC powered alarms with the 10 year sealed-in battery is highly recommended.

4. The placement of alarms throughout the house has also changed. Smoke Alarms are required to be placed on every level of the house, as well as in all bedrooms, and hallways leading to bedrooms.

Rental Property Owners are required to bring all residential rental properties into compliance with this law by January 1, 2018. In addition to that, Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Laws enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in 2016 become mandatory in April 1, 2018 in all rental properties. Combination Smoke/CO Alarms can satisfy both mandates in certain locations and will save the owner money.

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