The 2018 Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 728 to state that: ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 1, 2018, A PERSON MAY NOT SELL A BATTERY OPERATED SMOKE ALARM IN THE STATE UNLESS THE SMOKE ALARM IS A SEALED, TAMPER RESISTANT UNIT INCORPORATING A SILENCE/HUSH BUTTON AND USING ONE OR MORE LONG–LIFE BATTERY. A “LONG–LIFE BATTERY” MEANS A NONRECHARGEABLE, NONREPLACEABLE PRIMARY BATTERY THAT IS CAPABLE OF OPERATING A SMOKE ALARM FOR AT LEAST 10 YEARS IN THE NORMAL CONDITION. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
The bill also allowed smoke alarm systems that are electronically connected as part of a listed centrally monitored or supervised alarm system or capable of sending and receiving notifications by low power radio frequency wireless communication signal or a wireless local area networking capability.
As of January 1, 2018, smoke alarm placement in all existing residential occupancies were to have been upgraded to comply with the current law that requires that all battery powered smoke alarms be ten year sealed battery units with a hush button feature and located on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Smoke alarms must be upgraded in single-family and rentals as of the January 1, 2018 date. If you still have 9 volt or other battery type smoke alarms please take the time now to purchase the ten year sealed battery units to protect you and your family from the threat of fire.
REMINDER: For all new residential units constructed after July 1, 2013, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in each sleeping room, in the hallway or common area outside of sleeping rooms, and in the hallway or common area on each level within a residential dwelling unit, including basements and excluding specified unoccupied spaces such as attics.
This new section of the smoke alarm law will eliminate any confusion with consumers on what type of smoke alarm to purchase. For any questions please contact your local or state fire marshal office.
If you find a merchant who is not complying with this new law, please contact The Office of the State Fire Marshal to report such information.