As Maryland Fire Fatalities Rise, Safety Leaders Urge Families to Replace
Older Smoke Alarms and Increase Their Homes' Fire Protection
New State Law Requires Sealed-in Battery Smoke Alarms in Homes as of July 1
MEBANE, N.C., June 28, 2013
MEBANE, N.C., June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --To address the increase in
Maryland residential fire fatalities as compared to the same time last year, a
new state law aimed at reducing home fire deaths will require long-life
sealed-in battery smoke alarms effective July 1. The Maryland State Fire
Marshal's Office and other fire officials have joined leading fire safety
product manufacturer, Kidde Fire Safety, in a public service campaign urging
families to take action. Kidde is a part of UTC Climate, Controls, &
Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
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The new law requires homeowners to replace any battery-operated smoke alarm
more than 10 years old with a unit powered by a 10-year sealed-in battery.
These alarms provide continuous protection for a decade, and national fire
experts, such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and National
Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) recommend their use. Two-thirds of
all home fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working
alarm, mainly due to missing or disconnected batteries. To date, 39 Maryland
residents have died in home fires, 35% of which did not have working smoke
"More than 800,000 Maryland homes use battery-operated smoke alarms, and we
can't emphasize enough the importance of upgrading those smoke alarms to help
ensure families have working alarms in case of a home fire," said Bruce Bouch,
Maryland Deputy State Fire Marshal. "By sealing the battery inside the alarm,
the unit becomes tamper resistant and removes the burden from consumers to
remember to change batteries, which will save lives."
The law also requires homeowners to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed
on each floor and in each sleeping area, per NFPA recommendations. A national
survey on behalf of Kidde found less than a quarter of homeowners follow this
guideline, and three out of four don't know where to place alarms in their
"You have only minutes from the sound of the first smoke alarm to escape a
fire," said Chief Ron Siarnicki, executive director, National Fallen
Firefighters Foundation and officer of the Maryland State Firemen's
Association, which supported this law. "The sooner you hear an alarm, the
sooner you can respond and the better chance a family has to escape. Not only
does this help your family, but it decreases the chance a firefighter would be
injured or killed trying to save a life."
Maryland officials have teamed with Kidde on a public awareness campaign
featuring local firefighters and fire service leaders. The public service
announcements will run on TV and radio stations across the state and in the
District of Columbia. The spots are also available on beaherosaveahero.com.
"We know that fire safety isn't at the top of everyone's minds, yet someone
dies in a home fire every three hours in America. We're proud to help
Maryland fire officials spread the word and remind families that a simple step
like installing a smoke alarm could save lives," said Chris Rovenstine, vice
president, sales and marketing, Kidde.
Ten-year sealed-in battery smoke alarms, such as Kidde's Worry-Free line, are
available at home improvement retailers and cost between $25 and $50. With no
need to replace batteries, consumers will save about $40 in battery costs over
the life of one alarm. After 10 years, the alarms will sound a warning to
indicate it is time for replacement. For more information, visit
As the world's largest manufacturer of residential fire safety products,
Kidde's mission is to provide solutions that protect people and property from
the effects of fire and its related hazards. For more than 90 years, Kidde has
used advanced technology to develop residential and commercial smoke alarms,
carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products.
Based in Mebane, N.C., Kidde is part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a
unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and
building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit
Contact: Ellen Ethington, 970.778.6094, Ellen.Ethington@fahlgren.com
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