Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly toxic gas. It is the product of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, gasoline, wood and coal. The major sources of carbon monoxide in homes and apartments are fossil fuel burning boilers, furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and parking garages. CO is very dangerous because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating. CO poisoning can be fatal. The warning signs of CO poisoning are headaches, dizziness, tiredness and nausea. If you feel that you are suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning or that your home may have a CO leak, immediately open all of the windows, remove yourself from your home and call the Fire Department.
New York City has laws in place to protect people from carbon monoxide poisoning. Both landlords and tenants have responsibilities to ensure that all New Yorkers are safe.
Residential owners are required to ensure that tenants are provided with carbon monoxide detectors under Local Law 75 of 2011. Private one- and two-family dwellings are also required to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. This 2011 law amended Local Law 7 of 2004, which required carbon monoxide detectors to be installed by November 1, 2004. The 2011 law additionally requires the replacement of all existing detectors, as their useful life expires, or by October 2012, whichever is later. Approved CO detectors must comply with UL 2034 of Underwriters Laboratories. For existing buildings, a CO detector can be battery-operated, or can plug into an electrical outlet as long as it has a battery back-up in case of power interruption. New buildings or substantially improved buildings must have detectors that are hard-wired to the building's electrical systems. The installation of a combination smoke alarm/CO detector is allowed.
Owners' responsibilities include:
- Provide and install at least one approved carbon monoxide detector within each dwelling unit. The carbon monoxide alarms must be installed within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room. The alarm must also be equipped with an end-of-life alarm. This applies to all multiple dwellings and one- and two-family homes.
- File a Certificate of Satisfactory Installation with HPD within 10 days from the date of installation. You can file online or complete and submit the Form CO1 as directed. Click here to go to the application HPDOnline. When you enter the HPDOnline application, type in your building address. On the next screen, look for the left menu bar and click on the option Carbon Monoxide Certificate. Then proceed to complete the online Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate of Installation. You must be validly registered with HPD in order to file this Certificate. In buildings with cooperative units, the managing agent for the cooperative owners of the building should be filing the form for all units in the building. In buildings with condominium units, the Board of Managers must file a form for the entire building.
- For Class A multiple dwellings, post a notice in a form approved by HPD in a common area informing occupants of Local Law 75 requirements. "A" units are dwellings used, as a rule, for permanent residences. The typical residential apartment is an "A" unit.
- Provide a notice in a form approved by HPD informing occupants of Local Law 75 requirements. This applies to non-owner occupied units in private one- and two-family homes.
- Provide written information regarding the testing and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms, including general information concerning carbon monoxide poisoning and what to do if a carbon monoxide alarm goes off, to at least one adult occupant of each dwelling unit when the unit is installed. This applies to class "A" multiple dwellings and non-owner occupied units in one- and two-family homes.
- Keep all records relating to the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms and make them available upon request to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Department of Buildings (DOB), the Fire Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).
- Keep and maintain the carbon monoxide alarms or systems in good repair. This applies to class "B" multiple dwellings. "B" units are dwellings used, as a rule, on a temporary basis. For example, single room occupancies are typically "B" units.
- Some units in buildings without fossil fuel burning furnaces or boilers may be exempt from filing a Certificate of Satisfactory Installation. You should review the Department of Buildings regulations on www.nyc.gov/buildings for more information on exemption. You must file an Affidavit of Exemption with HPD to request an exemption. If you are filing for a partial exemption, you have the option to modify the notice that should be posted in the building (see bullet 2 above). You should submit the modified posting that you wish to use with your exemption application for approval by the Department.
Tenants of Class A multiple dwellings and one- and two family dwellings are required to:
- Reimburse the building owner $25.00 for each carbon monoxide alarm that is newly installed or installed as a result of the occupant's failure to maintain the carbon monoxide alarm or where the carbon monoxide alarm has been lost or damaged by the occupant.
- Keep and maintain the carbon monoxide alarm in good repair.
- Test all carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month (all alarms have test buttons).
- Replace batteries twice a year, in the spring and in the fall when clocks are changed for daylight savings time.
- Replace the battery immediately. An audible trouble signal will sound warning that the battery is low.
- Never paint over carbon monoxide detectors.
For the answers to some other Frequently Asked Questions about Carbon Monoxide, read HPD’s full FAQ on Carbon Monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide Law and Rules
Other Forms regarding Carbon Monoxide