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Do You Know About Smoke Alarms In Baltimore Homes

 

 Is your home up to code?

  If you are listing a home in Baltimore, make sure you are aware of Maryland's smoke alarm laws.

 

New hard wired CO/Smoke detectors are needed on every level of the home now required....No more batteries!

 

 All alarms more than 10 years old should be replaced — the manufacture date can usually be found on the back of the alarm.

“If you can’t find a date, the alarm is most likely older than 10 years,” 

 

 Below is a fact sheet designed to clarify this regulation and what it means for home owners.

                                                  
 
 

What the law requires now

  • Replacement of battery-only smoke alarms with new, 10-year smoke alarms with sealed batteries and a "hush" feature (to silence the alarm temporarily during cooking).
  • Replacement of hardwired devices more than 10 years old. Hardwired devices newer than 10 years still are acceptable.
  • Hard-wired devices must be replaced with hard-wired devices. You cannot replace a hard-wired alarm with a battery-only alarm.

What the law requires in the future

  • The law requires replacement of ALL smoke alarms -- hard-wired and battery-only -- when they are 10 years old. That means 10 years from the date of manufacture printed on on the back of the alarm. If you can't find a date, your smoke alarm needs to be replaced.
  • Smoke alarms lose their operational sensitivity after 10 years.
  • Hard-wired devices must be replaced with hard-wired devices.

What brand of alarm should I buy?

  • BCoFD does not endorse one manufacturer over another.
  • Smoke alarms are available at most home supply and "big box" retail stores and at many online retailers.
  • Alarms should comply with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 217, "Standard for Safety for Single and Multiple Station Smoke Alarm."

What about rental properties?

  • The new law applies to rental properties.
  • However, the new requirements do not impact individuals in the County’s rental registration program because the County’s rental registration provisions do not permit battery-operated smoke detector units and require hard-wired smoke detectors.

Enforcement

  • The local fire code does not grant right of entry into privately-owned single- and multi-family dwellings.

Purpose of the law

  • The law was designed to achieve the most reliable smoke alarm coverage possible in older dwellings without requiring homeowners to run new wiring.
  • The law's overall purpose is reduction of fire deaths and injuries.
  • Studies of residential fire fatalities show that more than half of smoke alarms in these incidents failed to sound because the 9-volt battery had been removed. The sealed battery requirement eliminates that problem.

Placement of smoke alarms  Smoke alarm location

 
 
 
 
 
Margaret Rome
 

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Broker-Owner HomeRome Realty 

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Author of Real Estate the Rome Way

mrome@HomeRome.com

410.530.2400

 

 
Comment balloon 0 commentsMargaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland • August 23 2018 12:34AM

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