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New laws impact smoke-alarm business

First Alert points to alarm mandates in several states.

BY HBSDealer Staff

First Alert, the Aurora, Ill.-based maker of alarms and other safety products, closely follows regulations affecting fire alarms. During recent hardware distributor markets, the company highlighted changes to state laws in Maryland, New Jersey and New York, among other places.

The company presented one-sheet fliers for each of the state laws, along with detailed information under the headline: “It’s the law.” The information included the following:

  • New York: Effective April 1, 2019

Assembly Bill 9207 delayed the implementation of a requirement for battery-powered alarms to feature sealed, 10-year batteries. But from April 1, 2019 onward, most typical battery-operated alarms sold within the state are required to have 10-year batteries. The rule excludes alarms that are already in inventory, and alarms that receive power from electrical systems. Wireless alarms are also excluded.

  • New Jersey: Effective Jan. 1, 2019

Under a recent amendment to the fire prevention code, single-, double- and multi-family dwellings that were constructed prior to the state’s adoption of the Uniform Construction Code Act of 1975 must install 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms, unless there is already a hardwired alarm in the dwelling.

  • Maryland: Effective Oct. 1, 2018

Senate Bill 728 required all smoke alarms sold – emphasis on the word “sold” – in the state to contain a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for a minimum of 10 years, if battery operated. Alarms that use low-power wireless signals are exclude, and so are those that have wireless local area networking capabilities.

Each of the fliers promoted nine compliant First Alert smoke alarms, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, or wireless alarms.

First Alert’s nationwide legislation page contains more information here.

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