Baltimore Now Requires Residential Fire Sprinklers


Baltimore has become the largest city in the United States to require automatic sprinklers in new single family homes and duplexes, after a law change signed in June. The law will take effect July 1.

The city, which passed the legislation June 21, also announced it will increase its funding for the Fire Department’s free smoke alarm program. Funding was increased from $80,000 last year to $100,000 for the upcoming year. The Fire Department has installed over 15,000 lithium battery smoke alarms as part of this program.

Residential fire sprinklers have proven their effectiveness in saving lives across Maryland, according to city officials. Since the early 1990s when Maryland law mandated sprinklers in new multi-family homes and townhouses, there have been no fire deaths in protected residential structures. More than half of the state’s municipalities and nine counties have adopted similar requirements for one and two-family homes.

“Home blazes are the leading cause of fire death in our city, and residential fire sprinklers will give our citizens crucial time to escape,” says Baltimore Fire Chief James Clack. “Working smoke alarms only alert occupants to a fire, but residential sprinklers act quickly to control blazes before they become deadly.”

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