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Dead, Missing Batteries in Smoke Alarms Contribute to Recent Fire Deaths

Officials want to remind residents to remain vigilant with maintaining smoke alarms in their homes. They say it only takes a few minutes to check these life saving devices that can make all the difference if your home is on fire.
Examples of some expired smoke alarm designs
Examples of some expired smoke alarm designs
Example of manufacturer expiration dates on the back
Example of manufacturer expiration dates on the back
WHAG NEWS - Officials with the Maryland State Fire Marshal say seven deaths in the state have occurred in fire related incidents during the first two months of 2014. Four of these incidents revealed smoke alarms were present, but were inoperable due to missing or dead batteries. 

Officials want to remind residents to remain vigilant with maintaining smoke alarms in their homes. They say it only takes a few minutes to check these life saving devices that can make all the difference if your home is on fire. 

A new state law aimed at reducing home fire deaths went into effect in July 2013. According to officials, it requires the replacement of any battery-only operated smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old with a unit powered by a 10-year sealed-in battery. This new state law ultimately affects more than 800,000 Maryland homes with battery-only operating smoke alarms. 

Officials say having a sealed-in battery is important because by sealing the battery inside the alarm, the unit becomes tamper resistant and removes the burden from consumers to remember to change batteries. They say these sealed-in, long-life battery alarms provide continuous protection for a decade. 

Officials say the date of the manufacture, while sometimes hard to find, should be printed on the back of the smoke alarm. They say if no date can be found, it's time to replace the smoke alarm. The new law heavily emphasizes the use of sealed smoke alarms, with long-life batteries and silence-hush buttons. Officials say you should never removed required wired-in smoke alarms and replace them with any type of battery-only operated device. 

For more information on fire safety, you can visit the Maryland State Fire Marshal's website by clicking here
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