Lauren Bunting Associate Broker

Home smoke alarm requirements

Thursday, November 05, 2020, Lauren Bunting

Homeowners in the state of Maryland should be aware that as of Jan. 1, 2018, there were new residential smoke alarm requirements put into place, as per a bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2013.

Maryland Realtors infographic on this topic can be viewed at

As of Jan. 1, 2018, Maryland law is as follows:

• No alarm (battery powered or hard wired) may be older than 10 years from the date of manufacture.

• 9-Volt battery alarms are no longer permitted.

• AC powered alarms less than 10 years old are still acceptable.

• One alarm must be located on each level of the dwelling, including the basement.

• One alarm must be located outside each “sleeping area.”

• For homes built or renovated after Jan. 1, 2013, one alarm must be placed in each “sleeping room.”

• Additional alarms required as of Jan. 1, 2018 (such as in a basement) may be battery-operated if they are sealed, long life battery smoke alarms with a silence/hush button feature.

The type of smoke alarm required in a dwelling depends on the age of the property. Here is a summary:

• Built before July 1, 1975: Alarm may be battery operated or AC—must be located in each hallway outside bedrooms.

• Built between July 1, 1975 to Jan. 1, 1989: AC alarm is required—must be located in each hallway outside bedrooms.

• Built between Jan. 1, 1989 and July 1, 1990: Alarms must be AC and interconnected to alarm simultaneously—must be located in each hallway outside bedrooms.

• Built between July 1, 1990 and July 1, 2013: Alarms must be AC with a battery backup—must be located in each hallway outside bedrooms.

• Built or renovated after July 1, 2013: Alarms must be AC with a battery backup and configured to sound simultaneously—must be located in each hallway outside bedrooms and in each bedroom.

Regardless of the age of the home, batter operated-only alarms must be powered by 10-year sealed tamper resistant batteries, and no unit may be older than 10 years. As the new law relates to real estate transactions, a seller who fails to comply with the law is subject to a fine, imprisonment or both.

A listing agent representing a seller who is in violation of the law must disclose to prospective buyer that the seller is not in compliance, and a buyer’s agent who is aware that the seller is not in compliance with the law, must disclose this fact to his/her client.

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MLS Information

Listing information is provided courtesy of The Coastal Association of REALTORS® which neither guarantees nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program of The Coastal Association of REALTORS®. The materials contained within this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of this broker. The information contained within this page is for personal non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All room dimensions and other measurements are approximate. All information is deemed reliable but is not guarantee. Prospective purchasers should verify the information to their own satisfaction. All data is provided 'AS IS' and with all faults. Listings displayed on this website may be subject to prior sale or removal from sale; availability of any listing should always be independently verified. Some real estate firms do not participate in Internet Data Exchange® and their listings do not appear on this website. Some properties listed with participating firms do not appear on this website at the request of the seller. Some or all of the listings displayed may not belong to the firm whose web site is being visited. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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  • Lauren Bunting Associate Broker
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