All new battery-powered smoke detectors sold in Maryland must have sealed ten-year batteries
From the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee
This is one of the features the new Maryland Smoke Alarm Law which took effect on July 1, 2013. The Office of the State Fire Marshal has issued a summary of the new Law. This summary is the basis for the following information.
The new law requires the replacement of smoke alarms when they are ten years old (from the date on manufacture). The date of manufacture should be printed on the back of the smoke alarm. If no manufacture date can be located, it is clearly time to replace the smoke alarms. Specified smoke alarms should be replaced by January 1, 2018 at the latest. Enforcement of the new Law is most likely in new construction, turnover in property ownership and when a building permit is requested for existing housing.
For new construction, the law requires an AC power, battery back-up smoke alarm in every bedroom, in the common area outside of the bedrooms, and on every other level of the dwelling unit, with all the alarms being connected. For existing homes, requirements for smoke alarms depend on when the homes were constructed.
- One- and two-family dwellings constructed before July 1, 1975 must be battery powered or alternating current (AC) primary electric powered units.
- One- and two-family dwellings constructed between July 1, 1975 and June 30, 1990 must be AC primary electric powers units.
- All specified multifamily residential occupancies must be AC primary electric units.
- Specified multifamily residences constructed on or after July 1, 1990 must be AC primary electric powered units with battery backup or another approved secondary power source.
If no wiring is available for AC-powered smoke alarms, battery-powered units may be substituted. The battery powered units should have a silence/hush button that will turn off the unit for a few minutes when it is accidentally triggered such as from cooking. The batteries are sealed so that they cannot be removed during these events. Also, the batteries cannot be “temporarily” removed for another use. Both “ionization” and “photoelectric” smoke alarms are listed to Underwriters Standard 217 and provide equally effective protection.
Leisure World has many different types of housing constructed at different times. If you have questions about smoke alarms in your unit, contact your mutual board. Additional information on the new law can be found at www.mcfrs.org/mcsafe.