By Member Martin Fuller
January 5, 2018

Listed below are several updates to the current smoke detector laws provided my the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

On January 1, 2018, new updates to the Maryland Smoke Alarm Law take effect. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office has provided several important key updates that you should be aware of:

1. All battery-only operated smoke alarms shall be the sealed-in, ten year/long-life battery type devices with a "silence/hush" feature. The 9- volt battery only operated alarms are no longer allowed.

2. All smoke alarms that have reached 10 years of age must be replaced. Look for the manufactured date on the label on the back of the alarm. If you cannot locate a manufacture date, the alarm needs to be replaced.

3. All hard-wired (AC powered) smoke alarms must be replaced with hard-wired units with battery back-up when they reach 10 years of age. Though the backup battery can be a 9-volt battery, we highly recommend the AC powered alarms with the 10 year sealed-in battery. These are becoming more readily available and the price is coming down to be more in-line with the 9-volt type.

4. The placement of alarms throughout the home has also changed (see the attached flyer). This can be somewhat confusing.

Rental Property Owners are required to bring all residential rental properties into compliance with this law by January 1, 2018 as well. In addition to that, Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Laws enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in 2016 become mandatory April 1, 2018 in all rental properties. Combination Smoke/CO Alarms can satisfy both mandates in certain locations and will save the owner money.

If you have any questions about the law or placement, please contact the Fire Marshal's Office directly at Or contact your local fire department.

Stay safe especially during these extremely cold weather conditions.

Attachment 2018 MSFM Smoke Alarm Law Brochure.pdf (547k)
Attachment FCFR Home Fire Safety Self Survey Check Sheet.pdf (700k)
Attachment FCFR Smoke CO Alarm Inspection Installation Brochure.pdf (350k)