New Md. smoke alarm laws for homeowners

WASHINGTON – Homeowners are reminded twice a year to check their smoke alarms at daylight savings time, but Maryland is throwing residents an early curve ball this year by changing its smoke alarm law.

All smoke alarms have expiration dates, not just the batteries inside them.

If you have a feeling your smoke alarm is older than the Pixar movie “Finding Nemo,” or the song “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce, it’s time to change out the whole unit.

Maryland requires they be changed every decade. Smoke alarms are now required to be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home including the basement — even if it’s unfinished.

If your home was built after 1994, you have to have a smoke alarm installed inside each sleeping room, but it’s recommended regardless to ensure everyone is alerted in case of a fire.

Homeowners have to comply with the new law by January 2018, but fire inspectors ask the changes are made sooner rather than later in the interest of safety.

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