Maryland State Law Requires Change in Smoke Detectors - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland State Law Requires Change in Smoke Detectors

Posted: Dec 29, 2017 4:16 PM Updated:
The new required tamper-resistant smoke alarm The new required tamper-resistant smoke alarm

SALISBURY, Md.- Maryland state fire law is requiring residents to change out more than just their batteries in smoke detectors this new year.  

By January 1, 2018 Maryland will regulate homes to switch over from battery-operated smoke alarms to tamper-resistant detectors.  The tamper-resistant smoke alarms are equipped with lithium ion batteries that last up to 10 years and are pre-sealed so batteries cannot be taken out.

"The state has put in a law now that you must have a 10-year, lifetime smoke alarm. The old style has the 9-volt battery in it and anybody can take the battery out of it, like so. Put it in any type of toy or remote control, whatever have you and you have no smoke alarm," Salisbury Fire Department Deputy Chief Darrin Scott said. 

Scott says the Salisbury Fire Department is offering free smoke alarms to anyone within their fire district, plus firefighters will come install them at no charge. 

Linda Meyer says her home has multiple smoke detectors in her home, but they are all electrically-wired with a battery backup option.  She questions if it could really operate in a serious fire.

"I always questioned that because my first response is if you have a fire and it's anywhere in a wall that has the smoke detector wouldn't it break the circuit and therefore the fact that they're wired in wouldn't work anymore," Meyer said. 

Meyer says she'd consider switching over to the tamper-resistant smoke alarm if it was proven to be safer.  

The Associated Press said 800,000 homes in Maryland will be affected by this state law. 


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