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PR- 107-04
May 5, 2004


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law

   “The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 4-A, sponsored by Speaker Miller and Council Members Comrie, DeBlasio, Felder, Gennaro, Nelson, Quinn, Rivera, Serrano, Vann, Foster, Sears, Gentile, Gerson, Jackson, Martinez, Monserrate, Reed, Weprin, Liu, James, Lopez, Brewer, Koppell and Vallone.  This bill will require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in certain multiple and private dwellings, schools and hospitals.

“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced as a result of the incomplete combustion of fossil-fuels, including coal, wood, natural gas and fuel oil. These materials are used in boilers, heating furnaces and other appliances.  When properly maintained, these devices produce minimal amounts of carbon monoxide. However, when improperly adjusted, installed, or vented, carbon monoxide levels can rise dramatically.  Carbon monoxide poisoning may result in nausea, headaches, dizziness and eventually unconsciousness and death.  Nationwide, carbon monoxide poisoning results in an estimated 300 deaths each year.  In the first two months of 2004 there were 4 such deaths in New York City, in addition to a number of building evacuations and subsequent hospitalizations.

“Intro 4-A amends the City’s Administrative Code by requiring building owners to install carbon monoxide detectors in all residential dwellings, schools, and hospitals in New York City where a fossil-fuel burning furnace or boiler is located. In residential buildings, these detectors must be installed within fifteen feet of each bedroom; for schools and hospitals, the devices must be installed in compliance with rules promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings in conjunction with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Fire Department.   Further, this bill outlines certain responsibilities for both landlords and tenants with regard to notification, testing and maintenance.  This bill takes effect six months from today—just in time for the 2004-05 heating season.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious health concern, and the installation of detectors is an important part of an overall prevention strategy.  In addition, several common-sense measures should be taken to help prevent or minimize exposure to carbon monoxide gas:

  • All fuel burning appliances should be inspected and properly adjusted on an annual basis; 
  • Heating systems should be professionally inspected and maintained each year before the heating season begins;
  • Residents should refrain from using cooking appliances as heating devices.

“I would like to thank Speaker Miller and Council staff for their leadership, as well as Commissioner Patricia Lancaster of the Department of Buildings, Commissioner Thomas Frieden of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta of the Fire Department and all the agency staff for their hard work on this legislation.”


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

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