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PR- 279-04
October 20, 2004


New Law Requiring Carbon Monoxide Detectors Goes Into Effect November 1

Mayor Bloomberg today urged New Yorkers to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide, and to heed a new law that goes into effect November 1 requiring carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in all multiple and private dwellings as well as in institutional and educational facilities throughout the City. The Mayor signed the bill into law in May. Today's warning comes on the heels of the tragic carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of two women and a seven year-old girl on Staten Island yesterday.  The victims were overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning when the flue pipe to the home's boiler was obstructed allowing the gas to permeate the home. The home was not equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. The incident is currently under investigation by the PoliceFire and Buildings Departments.  The Mayor was joined by City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Shaun Donovan, New York City Housing Authority Chairman Tino Hernandez, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, and Department of Buildings Deputy Commissioner Robert LiMandri at the announcement.

"This law is critical to ensuring that all New Yorkers protect themselves and their loved ones against carbon monoxide," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Carbon monoxide detectors are your best line of defense against this odorless, colorless silent killer.  I urge all homeowners, building owners and landlords to comply with this law quickly as the weather is getting colder and these dangers increase during the winter season."

"The Fire Department has been a strong and vocal supporter of this law. An early warning of the presence of carbon monoxide is your best defense against this poisonous gas," said Commissioner Scoppetta. "The presence of both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in addition to regular, professional maintenance on furnaces and boilers can go a long way to helping save lives and avoid tragedy this winter season."

The new law (Local Law 7 of 2004) requires at least one carbon monoxide detecting device within 15 feet of sleeping rooms in Class A multiple dwellings and private dwellings; buildings which are within occupancy groups J-1, J-2, or J-3; and buildings classified in occupancy group G and H-2. Owners will be responsible for installing approved devices, while occupants would keep and maintain the devices in good repair. Owners would also be entitled to a reimbursement of $25 per device from tenants. The provisions of this law may be enforced by the Department of Buildings, the Fire Department, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. 

CO Detectors are required in the following building types:

J-1 Hotels, Motels, Lodging Houses, Rooming Houses
J-2 Apartment Houses, Apartment Hotels, School Dormitory, Single Room Occupancy/Welfare Houses
J-3 Single Family Homes, Two-Family Homes, Rectories/Convents, Group Homes
Group H2 Hospitals/Clinics, Nursing Homes/Homes for the Old Age, Nurseries
Group G Educational Schools, Academies, Libraries, Colleges

A copy of Local Law 7 of 2004 can be found at

The Mayor and Commissioner Scoppetta announced that First Alert will be donating 60,000 carbon monoxide detectors to the FDNY Fire Safety Education Fund. The Fund will receive 20,000 carbon monoxide detectors each year for the next three years for fire safety education and outreach efforts throughout the City's five boroughs.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by the combustion of wood or fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum products, other fuel gases and wood.  CO is deadly.  Approximately 500 people die each year in the United States as a result of CO poisoning. Signs of CO poisoning may include headache, loss of alertness, flu like symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, confusion and overall weakness.  If you feel that you are suffering from the effects of CO poisoning or that your home may have a CO leak immediately open all of the windows and remove yourself from your home and call 911.

  • While a CO detector may help to alert you to the presence of elevated CO levels, it is important to make sure that plumbing, heating and other gas powered equipment in your home is properly maintained and serviced regularly by a licensed professional.
  • Keep chimneys clean and maintain chimney flues.
  • Do not attempt to heat your home with the oven. Burning gas in a closed house or apartment uses up oxygen and produces deadly carbon monoxide gases.
  • Never keep your car idling in the garage and never turn on gas-powered equipment, such as snow blowers, chainsaws or generators inside your home and garage.
  • Kerosene heaters are dangerous and illegal in New York City. If you use electric heaters make sure that they are U.L. rated, and kept away from any combustible materials such as draperies and linens. Unplug electric blankets and portable electric heaters when not in use.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level.  Check and change the batteries often.
  • You can check if a repair company has a plumber's or oil burner installer's license online by using the Building Information System at


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958


Francis Gribbon   (New York City Fire Department)
(718) 999-2056

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