In an effort to reduce home fire deaths, the State of Maryland has a new law requiring homeowners to replace any battery-operated smoke alarm more than 10 years old with a unit powered by a 10-year sealed-in battery. Sealed smoke alarm technology seals the batteries into the unit’s housing and circuitry, making them tamper resistant but able to provide protection for 10 years. With this technology, homeowners don’t have to remember to replace batteries twice a year. After 10 years, the alarm sounds an end-of-life warning to let the homeowner know to replace the alarm.
The Maryland law that went into effect July 1 comes from 2012 statistics stating that nearly half (46%) of Maryland fire fatalities occurred in homes without smoke alarms or inoperable alarms. To date, twice as many residential fire fatalities have occurred in Maryland this year compared to the same time last year. 40 lives have been lost from January-June 2013. The law also will hopefully decrease the likelihood that a firefighter would be injured or killed trying to save a life.
Nationally, 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. Dead or missing batteries are the main reason why smoke alarms don’t alert homeowners to fire. Most fatal fires occur in home where the alarm either didn’t operate or wasn’t present.
What can you do to protect your family regardless of what state you live in?
Upgrade with Kidde Worry-Free Alarms. Kidde’s Worry-Free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms comply with the new Maryland law because they’re equipped with a 10 year sealed-in lithium battery. We’ve use Kidde smoke alarms in our home in addition to our hard-wired system because they provide peace of mind thanks to the sealed in battery. They’re always on, providing 24 hour/day, 7 day/week protection and are maintenance-free and hassle-free because their long operating life. Sealed smoke alarm technology with lithium batteries are also more cost effective than battery operated alarms since they save homeowners up to $40 over the life of the alarm because there’s no need to replace the batteries every six months.
Sealed smoke alarm technology is supported by the National Fire Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control, The National Association of State Fire Marshalls, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This post was a public service announcement sponsored by Kidde to raise awareness about fire safety and the new Maryland smoke alarm laws. Kidde’s Worry Free alarms are available for purchase at Home Depot stores and other retailers but visit www.kidde.com for more information.