Maryland Smoke Alarm Law

If you live in Maryland, are your smoke detectors up-to-date, or do they break the law?

On January 1, 2018, Maryland enacted a new smoke detector law. Most people aren’t aware of it until they go to buy or sell a house. How you can tell if your smoke detectors are in compliance with the law or whether they need to be replaced?

Maryland Smoke Alarm Requirements

Hard-Wired Smoke Detectors

Do you have any hard-wired smoke detectors in your house? Hard-wired smoke detectors must be less than 10 years old (that is, 10 years from the date of manufacture. The manufacture date will either be marked on the packaging or on the smoke detector itself) and have a hush button. The hush button is that button you push to silence it when it activates accidentally, like when you’re grilling outside and the smoke comes into your house and it activates.

Battery Operated Smoke Detectors

Do you have any smoke detectors in your house that aren’t hard-wired? The kind of smoke detectors that have replaceable batteries? They are now against the law. For years we were advised to change the batteries every spring and every fall. If you still do that, your smoke detectors now break the law. Battery-powered smoke detectors must now be sealed, tamper- resistant units and have a hush button. The battery is sealed in these units and cannot be removed.

What Happens When You Have Both Types of Smoke Detectors in the Same House in Maryland?

What happens if you have both types of smoke detectors? The hard-wired can only be replaced with new hard-wired smoke detectors. You cannot swap them out for the ones that are battery-powered. Battery-powered smoke detectors can be swapped out with new ones that are also battery-powered. It’s okay to have both types as long as they are less than 10 years old and have a hush button.

Where to Install Smoke Detectors

Where should smoke detectors be located according to the Maryland smoke detector law? You need one on each level of your house, including the basement. If your house was built before July 1, 2013…1 smoke detector must be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms. If your house was built after July 1, 2013…there must be a smoke detector in every bedroom and also in every hallway outside the bedrooms.

If you’d like more information regarding the law…be sure to check out this link: Maryland Smoke Alarm Law.

Thinking about buying or selling a house in Maryland? A home inspector will check the smoke detectors as part of their home inspection.

If You Have Questions about the Smoke Alarm Law or Real Estate-Related Questions…

Ask Melissa Spittel, the Local Expert!