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New Md. Law Requires Smoke Alarm Upgrades

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A man installs a smoke detector in a house. (Photo credit: Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

A man installs a smoke detector in a house. (Photo credit: Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

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CAPITOL HEIGHTS — The last Maryland law dealing with smoke alarms was 38 years old, but new legislation aims to put a potentially life-saving solution inside people’s homes.

Usually, when a fire claims a life, “it’s the same story, time after time,” says Maryland State Fire Marshal William Barnard. A smoke alarm is missing, or without batteries.

Fatal fires are up substantially in the state, but fire officials are hoping a new type of alarm, with long-lasting lithium, tamper-proof batteries, can reverse that trend.

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According to Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, people “don’t think about it.” They take out the batteries and never replace them, or they never check to make sure alarms are there and functioning when they move in.

For those worried about not being able to silence alarms when they go off by mistake, like when something on the stove is smoking, there’s a built-in hush device that can silence the alarm for 10 minutes.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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