new fire safety law in maryland (and smoke alarm giveaway)

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new fire safety law in maryland

Did you know that this summer Maryland fire safety laws have changed and that most likely you are affected?

Me neither.

Here’s the law:

As of July 1, 2013, homeowners with battery-powered smoke alarms must update to long-life sealed-in battery smoke alarms. This law applies to homes with alarms more than 10 years old. Additionally, homes will be required to install smoke alarms in all sleeping areas. Sealed-in battery alarms may be used in those locations if the home currently has hardwired alarms.

Did you know that?   Right. Me neither.

So let’s get you at least one of these new long-life sealed-in battery smoke alarms stat.  I’m giving away one to one lucky teachmama reader, thanks to Kidde. And though  you’ll need to pick up a few more to keep your home safe, at least it’s a start.

Right? Right.

Here’s the skinny. . .

  • New Fire Safety Law in Maryland (and Smoke Alarm Giveaway): I’m sharing this because really I had no clue. And as a newspaper reading family, I like to think we’re on top of the latest.

At least a little bit.

So when the good folks at Kidde clued me in, I thought it was a message well worth sharing.

Do you…

  • Live in a home that uses battery-powered smoke alarms?
  • Ever forget to replace the batteries in your smoke alarm?
  • Have smoke alarms installed only in hallways and not in every bedroom?
  • Know the last time you replaced your smoke alarm?
  • Was it more than 10 years ago?
  • Do you plan to renovate your home or move to a new residence?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, check your fire safety equipment today.  Seriously. Do it.


As of July 1, 2013, Maryland law requires homeowners to replace existing battery-operated smoke alarms with ones containing a 10-year sealed battery. These long-life alarms will provide continuous power for a decade, meaning you never have to remember to replace batteries.

The law also states that smoke alarms shall be upgraded in all existing residential dwellings to include at least one alarm on each floor, including basements, as well as in each sleeping area.

I had heard that you should have one on each floor–but in each sleeping area?  We totally don’t.

More facts worth sharing:

  • Two-thirds of all home fire deaths in America occur in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working alarm, mainly due to missing or disconnected batteries.
  • In Maryland, 39 home fire fatalities have been reported from January to June, 2013.
  • In 2012, nearly half (46%) of Maryland fire fatalities occurred in homes without smoke alarms or with inoperable alarms.
  • Approximately 800,000 Maryland residences rely on battery-powered smoke alarms.
  • 60% of U.S. homeowners have left a smoke alarm without a working battery.
  • Fire experts recommend installing smoke alarms on each floor and in sleeping areas. Three out of four homeowners don’t know the proper locations for installation.
  • Fire experts recommend replacing smoke alarms every 10 years. Industry surveys show one in four homes – those built prior to 2002 – have never replaced their alarms.
  • After 10 years, a smoke alarm’s efficiency may be compromised with accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants and aging electrical circuitry.

The benefits:

  • Proven to provide protection for 10 years, homeowners no longer have to remember to replace batteries or be hassled by low battery chirps.
  • Sealing the batteries into the unit’s housing and circuitry makes these alarms tamper resistant.
  • For safety, the alarm will sound an end-of-life warning, letting the owner know it’s time to replace the alarm.

Supporters of this technology:

Find the Kidde Worry-Free smoke alarms at Home Depot.


WORRYFREE group shot flat

GIVEAWAY: One Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm

Do you want to win your own Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm?Yes, yes you do.

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to throw your name in the hat:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

By entering this giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.

This giveaway ends Friday, September 13, 2013 at midnight ET and is open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen by ‘Rafflecopter’ and will be notified on or around 9/13/13.  Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected.  All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.


fyi: This is an unsponsored post, sharing a message I feel strongly about from an organization I can firmly stand behind.  I did receive my own Kidde Worry Free 10 year Smoke Alarm as a ‘thank you’ for sharing this public service announcement.

As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator–and, of course, my three little loves. Affiliate links are used in this post.




  1. Holly says

    A house fire is not something that I had ever worried about…until this summer. We had a big thunderstorm in Virginia; lightning struck the satellite on top of our house and caught our house on fire. Scary stuff! Thanks to working smoke alarms and a quick acting local fire department, we are all safe and sound and our house received minimal damage. (My husband was out of state on business, so it was just me and my four little kiddos at home, including our 2 week old baby…yikes!)

    Thanks for thinking about all of our families and spreading the word about fire safety.

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