Smoke Detectors in Maryland (Frederick) - AC vs battery operated

5 Replies

I am in the process of preparing my Frederick property for the tenant. My real estate agent who uses zipLogix rental lease is trying to convince me that I HAVE to use the dual powered (AC and battery) smoke detector.

The lease is referring to § 9-102. Smoke alarms required in sleeping areas law. The § 9-102 refers to NFPA 101: Life Safety Code as adopted by the State Fire Prevention Commission. Eventually after drilling down through Maryland laws I do not see any mention of the dual powered smoke detectors requirements.

So I figured that BP might help me.

Thanks a lot !!!



When we bought our new construction townhouse in Frederick (within city limits) in 2000, it was built with a sprinkler system and battery/wired detectors were installed. This was all required. I don't know what is required in terms of a rental and what (if any) date there is to grandfather what I mentioned in. Hopefully someone here with a current rental in Frederick can tell you. I would not be surprised, however, if it IS required (battery/wired detectors).

Heck, I'm getting a new gas stove delivered and installed in July and the installation company said I need to have a Co2/smoke detector in the house - if not, I can buy on the spot before they install (I already have 2). Didn't ask because I already have them but assuming that is a state requirement for the gas hookup permit.

I do a lot of remodeling in Maryland. Montgomery county used to make me put dual power in every sleeping area when we did an extensive remodel, even when those rooms' ceilings were not easily accessible. In other words, it involved a lot of plaster patches afterwards. They have recently decided that lithium smoke detectors can replace these dual powered smoke alarms for these more difficult areas. The lithium batteries last ten years and at the end of that time the smoke detector is discarded. Perhaps these may be an option for you?

Andrey, I recently did some research on this matter for a unit that we are updating. I'm no expert, but it looks like it really depends on the year it was built and how many units are in the building.

Mine, for example, is half a duplex built in 1980, so I need to have at least one electric powered Smoke Alarm, permanently wired, in the sleeping area, which was already done at the time of construction (located in the hallway just outside the bedrooms). All other alarms must be new, sealed 10-year battery alarms (one on each level including the basement).

Here are a few links to articles that I found:,d.cWc

Hope this helps!


@Christina R.

@David Cummings

@Beth L.

I greatly appreciate your help. I called Frederick tenant-landlord office (voicemail) and Montgomery county (they have more resources to respond to requests). Hopefully by Monday they will clarify my question as well. I'll let you know the end result.



Congrats on picking up a rental! Did you end up getting it off of the MLS? Hope to hear about it at the next meeting.

Take Care,


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