You May Need to Replace Your Smoke Detectors

You May Need to Replace Your Smoke Detectors

You may recall a new law enacted in Maryland in 2013, requiring  battery-operated smoke detectors to be run by lithium batteries with a 10-year life. Detectors that use replaceable 9-volt batteries will no longer be permitted. The law requires homes in Maryland to have the new smoke detectors installed by 2018. With nine months remaining, it’s a good time to remind clients and friends.


If your house is 10 or more years old and you’ve had smoke detectors installed for that time or longer, you may not have heard the “end of life” chirping reminding you to change the battery. The reason may be that the detector died and installing a new battery won’t revive it. The lifespan of older smoke detectors is 10 years or less, and they should be replaced.

Upgraded smoke alarms must comply with minimum specified standards. These standards vary according to when the building was constructed. The new law heavily emphasizes the use of sealed smoke alarms with long-life batteries and silence/hush buttons. However, it is critical to understand that these devices are appropriate only where battery-operated smoke alarms presently exist as permitted by Code or in locations where no smoke alarms are present. It is never acceptable to remove required hard-wired smoke alarms and replace them with any type of battery-only operated device. The law states that smoke detectors should from now on be replaced every 10 years or less. For a comprehensive explanation:  Montgomery County Government Resources page.

Thank you to Pat McLister, of Saisbury, McLister & Foley for this timely and useful information!

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