Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

MD Smoke Detector Law Takes Effect

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When was the last time you replaced your smoke alarm? Not the battery -- the alarm itself.

    A new Maryland law took effect July 1 that requires homeowners, builders and apartment managers to have ten-year, sealed smoke alarms installed by the year 2018.

    Some counties, including Prince George's, are asking builders and apartment complexes to be in compliance now.

    The smoke alarms are sealed and have lithium-powered alarms and a hush function which will quiet the alarm without removing the battery.

    Retailers in Maryland can continue to sell standard smoke alarms until 2018, but consumers can expect to see a transition at stores as they start stocking shelves with the 10-year alarms.

    75-percent of fatal fires occur in homes without a smoke alarm or working smoke detector, according to the United States Fire Administration.