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Residential Fire Code Issues


The Baltimore County Fire Prevention Code does not require the routine inspection of single-family residential properties.

Fire prevention, including the installation of smoke alarms – the single most important fire safety step one can take – is the responsibility of the homeowner.

The Fire Code does require the inspection of the common areas of rental apartment units and condominiums.

Residential Sprinkler Systems

Beginning January 1, 2011, all single-family homes and duplexes must be equipped with automatic sprinkler systems.

The new regulation is part of the latest edition of the International Residential Code (IRC), adopted recently 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 townhomes and multi-family dwellings since the early 1990s.

Law Enforcement

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

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

General Home Fire and Life Safety

Every household should educate itself about basic home fire hazards, including cooking, improper use of electrical devices, smoking, storage of hazardous materials and carbon monoxide.

Find additional information on Fire and Life Safety.

Revised May 23, 2016         


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