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Residential Fire Code Issues

Inspections

Single-Family and Townhomes

The Baltimore County Fire Prevention Code does not require the routine inspection of privately-owned single-family residences and townhomes. The code does not grant right of entry by fire marshals into these homes.  

Fire prevention, including the installation of smoke alarms – the single most important fire safety step – is the responsibility of the homeowner; the same is true for installation of carbon monoxide alarms. Familiarize yourself with the laws pertaining to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Multi-family dwellings

The Fire Code requires the inspection of the common areas of rental apartment units and condominiums. It does not grant right of entry by fire marshals into individual units.

Residential Sprinkler Systems

Under Maryland law, all new single-family homes and duplexes must be equipped with automatic sprinkler systems.

The regulation, approved in 2011, is part of the latest edition of the International Residential Code (IRC), adopted by the Baltimore County Council as part of the Building Code of Baltimore County. The IRC regulates construction requirements for one- and two-family dwellings.

The code has required sprinklers in town homes and multi-family dwellings since the early 1990s.

Sprinkler laws are enforced by the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections' Fire and Building Code Plans Review Office.

Additional information about residential sprinklers is available through the Maryland Fire Marshal and the The United States Fire Administration.

Other Residential Fire Code Issues

Visit our Community Outreach and Education section for information on these and other residential issues:

 
Revised July 11, 2019         

 

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