HAVE YOU COMPLIED WITH MARYLAND’S NEW SMOKE ALARM LAW? ITS REQUIREMENTS WENT INTO EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2018.
LEARN HERE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AND HOW TO ADVISE YOUR CLIENTS TO PREVENT PENALTIES.
The New Year marked the deadline for Maryland property owners to bring their smoke alarms up to date under the new law. Doing so will aid in passing a home inspection and avoiding penalties, not to mention ensuring that your home is equipped with safer, more dependable alarms. There is some confusion as to what the requirements are for smoke alarms as well as where they need to be placed, to which the chart below and this article will clarify.
First, gather the answers to these questions:
Section 9-104 of the Public Safety Article requires that any battery-operated smoke alarm in residential property must now be a sealed, tamper resistant unit incorporating a silence/hush button and using long-life batteries, projected to have a ten (10) year lifespan. The silence/hush button allows an occupant to temporarily silence an alarm when they have set it off accidently and the occupant is aware of and can fix the issue (for example, burnt food on the stove). Down the road, when these units are ten years past the date of manufacture (written on the unit), the law requires that they be replaced. The property owner is responsible for complying with the law; however, tenants are responsible for notifying their landlord of any problems with alarms, such as hearing the “end of life” sound during the ten-year cycle, to which the landlord is then on notice to repair.
If the property is currently hardwired, leave the system alone, and do not replace it with battery-operated units. However, you still need to ensure that the property has smoke alarms in all areas required by the statute. If not, the long-life battery smoke alarms must be installed where necessary. To determine the requirements for your home, compare your answers to Numbers 1-3 with this chart:
Important Dates & Where Alarms Are Required
A person who violates the new smoke alarm law is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) days or a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or both.
Readers with questions about this or any real estate legal matter can reach Dave Parker at 301-590-9300.
For the specific statutory language of Sec. 9-103 (new construction) and Sec. 9-104 (older residential units), see https://govt.westlaw.com/mdc/Document/N04F64D30D9D811E2A5EFA1428CB399FF?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default) and