New York City Housing Authority


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Fire Safety

What You Need to Know About Your
Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector


Your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are life-saving devices and should be treated as such. Every apartment must have at least one working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.

NYCHA provides two types of smoke alarms:

  1. Battery-operated smoke alarms, which make a loud warning sound within the apartment to alert you to dangerous smoke levels.
  2. Hard-wired alarms, or "smoke detectors," which are connected to your building’s electrical system. Hard-wired alarms also make a loud warning sound inside your apartment to alert you to dangerous smoke levels.

Maintenance for Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Inspect your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector at least once a week. Install a new battery in your battery-operated smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors once a year. Schedule a regular time, such as Daylight Saving Time, at which you and your family change the battery in the alarm. This should be part of your family's fire safety plan.

For your continued safety, NYCHA staff is required to check your smoke alarm and/or carbon monoxide detector as a routine part of any visit to your apartment.

Familiarize Yourself with the Sound of Your Alarm

When you change the batteries in your alarms and detectors, also familiarize yourself with the sound of the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector by pressing the test button located on the device. If the alarm or detector does not sound, or you believe the device is defective in any way, promptly contact the Management Office, or, if you live in Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island contact the Centralized Call Center at (718) 707-7771, for repair or replacement of your smoke alarm and/or carbon monoxide detector.

Do Not Disable Your Alarm

Do not disable your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector for any reason. There may be times when the smoke alarm goes off because of cooking. In that case air out your apartment until the alarm stops sounding, but never risk your family's safety by removing or disabling the smoke alarm.

If your carbon monoxide detector goes off call 911, open the windows, and check on the rest of your household members (including pets). You can reset the carbon monoxide detector by pushing the reset/silence button.