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Smoke & Carbon Detector Law

New Smoke and Carbon Detector Law

Governor Baldacci has signed into law LD 1497 as amended by Committee amendment “A” and House amendment “A”.  It is an emergency enactment, so it goes into effect immediately. It amends the smoke and carbon monoxide detector law which passed last year as Public Law 162, and which went into effect as to part on September 12, 2009 and part (impacting closings) on October 31, 2009.

The new law requires the purchaser to sign a certification at closing which states that the appropriate detectors will be installed by them within 30 days of acquisition or occupancy of the dwelling, whichever is later. The language from the statute is as follows:

“10. Transfer of dwelling.
A person who, after October 31, 2009, acquires by sale or exchange a single-family dwelling or a multiapartment building shall install smoke detectors in the acquired dwelling within 30 days of acquisition or occupancy of the dwelling, whichever is later, if smoke detectors are not already present, and shall certify at the closing of the transaction that the purchaser will make the proper installation. This certification must be signed and dated by the purchaser.

The smoke detectors must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements at the time of installation. The smoke detectors must be powered by the electrical service in the building or by battery.

A person may not have a claim for relief against a property owner, a property purchaser, an authorized agent of a property owner or purchaser, a person in possession of real property, a closing agent or a lender for any damages resulting from the operation, maintenance or effectiveness of a smoke detector. Violation of this subsection does not create a defect in title.”

For carbon monoxide detectors, the language is almost the same, although the location of the detectors is specified, and the detector must be powered both by the electrical service (plug-in is ok) and by battery back-up.  The language from the statute is as follows:

“6. Transfer of dwelling. A person who, after October 31, 2009, acquires by sale or exchange a single-family dwelling or a multiapartment building shall install carbon monoxide detectors in the acquired dwelling within 30 days of acquisition or occupancy of the dwelling, whichever is later, if carbon monoxide detectors are not already present, and shall certify at the closing of the transaction that the purchaser will make the proper installation. This certification must be signed and dated by the purchaser.

The carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements at the time of installation in each area within, or giving access to, bedrooms and must be powered both by the electrical service in the dwelling or building and by battery.

A person may not have a claim for relief against a property owner, a property purchaser, an authorized agent of a property owner or purchaser, a person in possession of real property, a closing agent, or a lender for any damages resulting from the operation, maintenance or effectiveness or effectiveness of a carbon monoxide detector. Violation of this subsection does not create a defect in title.”