Leonardtown, MD – With Tuesday’s tragic incident in Loveville serving as backdrop, the St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services asks citizens to test their smoke detectors.

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Some things citizens should do include:

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Place alarms on every level of the home.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms work. Your family is not safe if they can’t hear the smoke alarms.
  • Test all smoke alarms monthly.
  • Smoke alarms do not last forever. Purchase new smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • When you hear a smoke alarm, you may have less than 2 minutes to get everyone outside and safe.

The Maryland Smoke Detector Law, which went into effect on July 1, 2013, requires the replacement of any battery-only operated smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old. Homeowners are required to install an alarm with a sealed-in battery, which has a 10 year life, by January 1, 2018.