2018 State of Maryland Smoke Alarm Law – What you need to know

2018 state of maryland smoke alarm law

Effective January 1, 2018, the new House Bill 1413 (law) went into effect.  This Bill was actually approved back in 2013. As I read through the House Bill, it was very clear that the intent of the Bill is designed to save lives. Highlights of the State Law for Residential Smoke Alarms.

To have a smoke detector installed, contact us right away!

First, what is a smoke alarm?

A “Smoke Alarm” as defined by the new law is a single or multiple station device that detects visible or invisible products of combustion and includes a built-in internal alarm signal.
HS Tech group DOES NOT install “Smoke Alarms,” we install “Smoke Detectors,” so what’s the difference?

A “Smoke Detector” is a system connected smoke sensing device tied to a fire alarm control panel or household warning panel.

The difference is simple; the new law pertains to “Smoke Alarms” not “Smoke Detectors.” The devices HST installs (“Smoke Detectors”) connect to our security/fire system and are monitored 24/7. If there is an issue with one of our sensors, the keypad will notify you, and we will receive a trouble signal as well. When the device goes into alarm, it will notify the proper authorities, the Fire Department, regardless of whether your system is armed or disarmed.

A “Smoke Alarm” will typically just make noise and will not contact anyone for help, if you are not home, the noise will go unheard.

The intent of the law is simple; the State is mandating that you comply with the law.  Depending on when your home was built and what type of devices you currently have installed, you have several options. If you would like the specific definitions, please download the Bill and review the section that pertains to the year your home was constructed.

If your “Smoke Alarms” are older than ten years, you need to replace them.

There are several types of replacement devices available at your local hardware store, or we can recommend an electrician depending on what you have in your home. Types of “Smoke Alarms:”

  • Worry-Free 120-Volt Hardwired Inter-Connectable Smoke Alarm with 10-Year Battery Backup
  • Standalone ten years sealed battery-operated smoke detectors
  • Combination Devices – Smoke and carbon monoxide with 10-year sealed batteries
    Photo Electric or Ionization are two different types of Smoke Alarm Technologies

The requirement for a “Smoke Alarm” with sealed, tamper-resistant units incorporating a silence/hush button and using long-life batteries pertains to battery only smoke alarms.

Again, this law does not apply to smoke detectors as defined by the law above. The law gives Fire Prevention Commission responsibility. If you have questions, please contact your current security company or an electrician for more information.  Most powered smoke detectors that are connected to your home’s electrical system should be replaced by a licensed electrician.

I will add, that there is no harm in replacing smoke detectors that are ten years or older, it is a life safety device, but those used by HST are monitored by the main control for trouble, low batteries and alarms.

Stuart Forchheimer
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Stuart Forchheimer

President at HS Tech Group
Stuart is the President and CTO of HS Tech Group. Stuart lives in Baltimore County, Maryland with his two children, loving wife, dog, fish and assortment of wildlife.
Stuart Forchheimer
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