Maine Revised Statutes

§2464. Smoke detectors

1. Definition.  "Smoke detector" means a device that, when activated by the presence of smoke, provides an alarm suitable to warn the occupants within the individual dwelling unit in which it is attached and that has been listed for use by a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory.
[ 1997, c. 728, §27 (AMD) .]
2. Smoke detectors required. 
[ 2009, c. 551, §1 (RP) .]
2-A. Smoke detectors required.  The owner shall properly install, or cause to be properly installed, in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements at the time of installation, smoke detectors in:
A. A single-family dwelling the construction of which is completed after January 1, 1982; [2009, c. 551, §2 (NEW).]
B. Each unit in a building of multifamily occupancy; [2009, c. 551, §2 (NEW).]
C. An addition to or restoration of an existing single-family dwelling that adds at least one bedroom to the dwelling and the construction of which is completed after September 19, 1985; and [2009, c. 551, §2 (NEW).]
D. A conversion of a building to a single-family dwelling completed after September 19, 1985. [2009, c. 551, §2 (NEW).]
A smoke detector installed or replaced, after the effective date of this subsection, within 20 feet of a kitchen or of a bathroom containing a tub or shower must be a photoelectric-type smoke detector except that ionization detectors are permitted within the bedrooms even if the bedroom is within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom containing a tub or shower.
[ 2009, c. 551, §2 (NEW) .]
3. Multiapartment buildings.  In multiapartment buildings more than 3 stories in height, approved smoke detectors must also be installed in each corridor and hallway on each floor.
[ 1997, c. 728, §28 (AMD) .]
4. Regulations. 
[ 1997, c. 728, §29 (RP) .]
4-A. Rules.  The Commissioner of Public Safety or the commissioner's designee, in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, shall adopt rules pertaining to smoke detectors. The rules adopted must include, but not be limited to, standards for approved smoke detectors and all requirements of use, maintenance and installation. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
[ 2001, c. 475, §1 (NEW) .]
5. Penalties.  A person who violates this section is guilty of a civil violation and is subject to a forfeiture of not more than $500 for each violation. The court may waive any penalty or cost against any violator upon satisfactory proof that the violation was corrected within 10 days of the issuance of a complaint.
[ 1997, c. 728, §30 (AMD) .]
6. Liability.  Nothing in this section gives rise to any action against an owner required to comply with subsection 2-A or subsection 9, paragraph A if the owner has conducted an inspection of the required smoke detectors immediately after installation and has reinspected the smoke detectors prior to occupancy by each new tenant, unless the owner has been given at least 24 hours' actual notice of a defect or failure of the smoke detector to operate properly and has failed to take action to correct the defect or failure.
[ 2009, c. 551, §3 (AMD) .]
7. Noninterference.  A person may not knowingly interfere with or make inoperative any smoke detector required by this section, except that the owner or the agent of an owner of a building may temporarily disconnect a detector in a dwelling unit or common area only for construction or rehabilitation activities when such activities are likely to activate the detector or make it inactive. The detector must be immediately reconnected at the cessation of construction or rehabilitation activities each day, regardless of the intent to return to construction or rehabilitation activities on succeeding days.
[ 1991, c. 260, (NEW) .]
8. Smoke alarms for persons with disabilities.  Upon the request of a deaf or hard-of-hearing occupant, the owner of the dwelling unit shall provide an approved smoke alarm suitable to warn the occupant within the dwelling unit. If the owner does not provide a suitable smoke alarm, the occupant may purchase, install and maintain a suitable smoke detector, or arrange for proper installation and maintenance of a suitable smoke detector, and may deduct the actual costs from the rent for the dwelling unit. An occupant or tenant may not be charged, evicted or penalized in any way for failure to pay the actual cost deducted from the rent for the dwelling unit.
[ 1997, c. 95, §2 (NEW) .]
9. Rental units.   In a unit occupied under the terms of a rental agreement or under a month-to-month tenancy:
A. At the time of each occupancy, the landlord shall provide smoke detectors if they are not already present. The smoke detectors must be in working condition. After notification, in writing, of any deficiencies by the tenant, the landlord shall repair or replace the smoke detectors. If the landlord did not know and had not been notified of the need to repair or replace a smoke detector, the landlord's failure to repair or replace the smoke detector may not be considered as evidence of negligence in a subsequent civil action arising from death, property loss or personal injury; [2009, c. 551, §4 (AMD).]
B. The tenant shall keep the smoke detectors in working condition by keeping charged batteries in the smoke detectors, by testing the smoke detectors periodically and by refraining from disabling the smoke detectors; and [2009, c. 551, §4 (AMD).]
C. The landlord may install 10-year sealed tamper-resistant battery-powered smoke detectors if the unit is a single-family dwelling. [2009, c. 551, §4 (NEW).]
[ 2009, c. 551, §4 (AMD) .]
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.
[ 2009, c. 551, §5 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1981, c. 399, §1 (NEW). 1985, c. 175, (AMD). 1985, c. 190, (AMD). 1991, c. 260, (AMD). 1997, c. 95, §§1,2 (AMD). 1997, c. 728, §§27-30 (AMD). 2001, c. 475, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 162, §§1-4 (AMD). 2009, c. 551, §§1-5 (AMD).

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