Cumberland Times-News

Local News

March 6, 2014

Weekend time change brings call to change smoke detector batteries

New law requires device on each floor, in sleeping area

CUMBERLAND — In anticipation of daylight-saving time beginning in the early morning hours of March 9, the state fire marshal is urging Marylanders to “Change Your Clock — Change Your Battery” in both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

Recognizing that working smoke alarms and CO detectors double a family’s chance of surviving a home fire and/or unsafe carbon monoxide levels, the state fire marshal says that daylight-saving time is a great opportunity for families to change the batteries. “Please take the little time required to help ensure the safety of your family and friends by maintaining these early warning life-saving devices.”

A new Maryland law became effective July 1 involving “battery only” smoke alarms used in residential properties. When these smoke alarms have reached their 10-year life span, they need to be replaced with new long-life sealed lithium battery smoke alarms with silence/hush button features. The feature temporarily disables the alarm so the occupant can ventilate the space from mild smoke conditions typically created during some cooking operations. The use of these alarms eliminates the need to replace the batteries during the 10-year life of the alarm.  

The new law also requires homeowners to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed on each floor and in each sleeping area, per National Fire Protection Association recommendations.  

The 120-volt electric smoke alarms also should be replaced every 10 years to ensure proper and timely operation in the event of a fire.  

Home escape plans are another way Marylanders can avoid injury or death in their homes. By identifying at least two escape routes, families can practice the plan together.

Overhead electronic signs throughout the state this weekend will help spread the word about this life-saving reminder.    


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