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Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Is your rental property up to code? Your Maryland landlord or DC landlord are required to have working smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors) in your building and inside each rental unit to prevent serious personal injuries and damages. If the detectors are not there, and in proper working order, you and your family are at risk for serious personal injuries, pain, suffering, burn injuries or death from smoke inhalation or the fire.

Generally, Maryland law requires that each sleeping area in a residential dwelling have an automatic smoke alarm. These mandatory smoke alarms must also meet certain requirements. The law changed in 2018 which required upgrades of the alarms. In residential dwellings in the State of Maryland, smoke alarms are mandatory and must be installed which meet certain criteria.

Have you heard horrific stories of people being trapped in a house during a house fire, and dying of smoke inhalation, or being severely burned? Now imagine that the house did not have any working smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors? Studies show that working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. They save lives by giving you advanced warning of smoke or fire, that allows you to get yourself and your loved ones to safety. In commercial properties in Maryland and D.C., including rental apartments, condos, and houses, all local, state and federal codes and regulations require working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or else the property cannot be rented. Landlords must apply for licenses and have the properties inspected to insure the safety of inhabitants. With working smoke detectors, many of these tragedies can be avoided. There are landlords that fail to follow the rules, or take short cuts which can put your and your family’s lives at risk. If you were in a rental property in the State of Maryland or the District of Columbia that sustained fire damage, and you or your loved ones were injured or died, please reach out to see if we are able to help you.

We have held accountable landlords who failed to put tenant safety first and cut corners, that then resulted in fire injury and death. If this has happened to you or someone you know, call us for a free consultation. Time is of the essence – your lawyer needs to investigate as soon as possible, and that includes investigating the property, making sure evidence is maintained, and fire investigators interviewed.

There are some simple steps you can take to protect your family. First, if you are in a rental property, make sure your landlord has properly installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and that they are functional. Two, check your lease agreement as to what language it has about smoke detectors. Three, determine if the smoke detectors in your unit are battery operated or connected to power and are in proper working order. Four, if battery operated, then make sure your landlord changes the batteries every six months (or if the lease says you are to notify the landlord, make sure you do that). Five, determine the system in place that your landlord has for testing of the detectors, and how often. And last, but not least, make sure you and your family have an evacuation plan, and do practice run throughs so you know what to do should this ever happen.

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