Maryland Smoke Alarm Law Now in Effect

Residents must replace any smoke alarm operated only by battery that is more than 10 years old with a unit powered by a 10-year, sealed-in battery having a "Hush" button feature. The requirement affects more than 800,000 homes statewide.

A state law that went into effect in Maryland on July 1, 2013, requires residents to replace any smoke alarm operated only by battery that is more than 10 years old with a unit powered by a 10-year, sealed-in battery having a "Hush" button feature. The requirement affects more than 800,000 homes statewide, and the effective date for it has only just arrived: Jan. 1, 2018.

The Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal posted a reminder about the law last month. It said while the law emphasizes the use of sealed-battery smoke alarms with a long-life battery and a silence/hush feature, "it is critical to understand these devices are appropriate only where battery-only operated smoke alarms presently exist or in locations where no smoke alarms are present." It says it is never acceptable to remove required wired-in smoke alarms and replace them with any battery-only operated device, and a 110-volt electrically powered smoke alarm may be replaced only with a new 110-volt unit with a battery backup.

A graphic included in the reminder shows the recommended locations for smoke alarms in single-level and multi-story occupancies.

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