Carbon Monoxide Alarms Required In Most Rental Properties In Md. Next Year

That law as passed by the 2016 General Assembly.

Pikesville, Md. (KM)  By April 1st of 2018, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in new and existing rental units in Maryland, including ones occupied by individuals and families. That’s under a law passed by the 2016 General Assembly.

“If there’s any type of fuel burning appliance, such as those which burn oil, gas and wood, also if there’s an attached, enclosed garage, then that would require a carbon monoxide alarm to be placed on every level of the home, and that would also includes the area outside of the bedrooms,” says Bruce Bouch, Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal with the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office. This law would not apply to rental units that are powered solely by an electric power supply.

The Fire Marshal’s Office says carbon monoxide is colorless, tasteless and potentially toxic gas that is produced by the burning of solid and liquid fuels and natural gas. It can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and irritability.   High concentrations can lead to vomiting, loss of consciousness and even death.

Areas producing carbon monoxide in the home include  blocked vents or chimneys, furnace, water heater, dryer, barbecue, stove, car and portable fuel fired generator, says the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Bouch recommends the generator be located away from the home so carbon monoxide doesn’t seep inside.
“If it’s not burning the fuel efficiently, the CO is then produced. If it’s produced at the burning assembly portion of the unit, then it does not escape properly, thusly building inside the home, creating the hazardous condition,” says Bouch.

He says there are a number of carbon monoxide alarms on the market. “You can have the type that plugs into an outlet and has a battery backup, or you have the type that’s electric and battery,” says Bouch. “There are  combination units now, where it’s both smoke alarm and carbon monoxide. So you can just replace the smoke alarm you currently have with a combination unit.”

Even though the deadline to install CO alarms in rental units in Maryland is April 1st, 2018, Bouch recommends they be installed well before that time.


By Kevin McManus