Fire Safety in Rockville
Having a working smoke alarm and installing sprinklers in your home are the best prevention for your family to survive a fire. Learn about the Maryland Smoke Alarm Law below, and view more information on what residents and builders can do to increase fire safety.
• Fire Laws of the City of Rockville (PDF) (Requirements for apartment buildings and apartment-style residential buildings)
• Request an inspection for your family day care, group homes, summer camps, private schools, or other licensed facility.
Maryland Smoke Alarm Law Information
1. The Maryland Smoke Alarm Law was passed during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly. It requires the replacement of smoke alarms when they are 10 years old (10 years from the date of manufacture). The date of manufacture should be printed on the back of the smoke alarm. If no manufacture date can be located, it is safe to assume that the alarm is more than 10 years old.
2. For new construction, an AC power, battery back-up smoke alarm is required in every bedroom, in the common area outside of the bedrooms and on every other level of the dwelling unit, with all of the required smoke alarms being interconnected.
3. Smoke alarm coverage in homes built prior to Jan. 1, 1989, must be upgraded to at least one approved smoke alarm on every level of the home when any one of the following first occur:
- The existing smoke alarm is more than 10 years old.
- The existing smoke alarm fails to respond or otherwise malfunctions.
- There is a change of tenant.
- A building permit is issued for an addition or renovation.
- Jan. 1, 2018 at the absolute latest.
Smoke alarms shall be AC-power operated units. However, sealed battery operated smoke alarms with long life batteries and silence / hush button features may be installed in locations of the home where wired in smoke alarms did not previously exist.
The intent of the new Maryland Smoke Alarm Law was to achieve as much reliable smoke alarm coverage as possible in older dwellings without requiring a homeowner to run new wiring.
4. The new law heavily emphasizes the use of sealed smoke alarms with long life batteries and silence/hush buttons only where battery operated smoke alarms presently exist or in locations where no smoke alarms are present. It is never acceptable to remove required wired smoke alarms and replace them with any type of battery-only operated device.