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Montgomery County Improves Residents’ Safety; Expands Carbon Monoxide Alarm Rule

By HOM Editor
March 2019

Families in the most populous county of Maryland are now a little safer, thanks to updated rules by the Montgomery County Council regarding household carbon monoxide alarm requirements.

On July 1, 2019, all single-unit, two-unit, and townhouse inhabiting units that had building permits issued prior to January 2008 will be required to have carbon monoxide alarms if the home has a gas-operated appliance or an attached garage. This is a monumental improvement from the current law, which states that only newly constructed homes must be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms.

“This new law will help save lives and is helping to reinvigorate community awareness around the issue among Montgomery County residents.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious issue. In the last two years there have been several casualties in the region from exposure to the toxic, flammable gas. This new law will help save lives and is helping to reinvigorate community awareness around the issue among Montgomery County residents.

Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice strengthened County regulations, as the original state law only required carbon monoxide alarms in newly constructed homes since 2008. As a result, existing homes must now meet the same requirements as newly constructed buildings.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms have been required in all residential rental units in Maryland since April 1, 2018.

This new law will expand carbon monoxide alarm installations. According to Councilmember Rice, a public education campaign will also be put in motion shortly “to make sure that folks understand the new law, what the requirements are, and how they can go about getting them if they can’t afford them.”

Carbon monoxide alarms alert residents when the toxic gas is present, allowing them to take the appropriate actions towards safety. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is committed to the community’s safety and is proud to offer Home Safety Visits to residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. Learn more about this free service by visiting www.mcfrs.org/mcsafe or calling 311.

One should always feel safe in their home, and Montgomery County has just taken another step towards that goal.

About Carbon Monoxide

You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide which is why it’s known as the “silent killer.” Carbon Monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in theU.S. Properly equip your home with carbon monoxide alarms on every level and outside sleeping areas. The only safe way to detect carbon monoxide in your home is with a properly working carbon monoxide alarm. Remember, if a carbon monoxide alarms sounds oryou suspect carbon monoxide exposure, get out of the house immediately and get fresh air. Call 911 from outside or from a neighbor’s home. Seek emergency help immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.


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