New Residential Smoke Alarm
Sales Requirements Go into Effect April 1
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection today alerted New Yorkers that, effective April 1, 2019, all new or replacement smoke detectors offered for sale in New York State must either be powered by a sealed, non-removable battery with a minimum battery life of 10 years or hard-wired to the building.
"Smoke alarms save lives by providing warnings to allow us to get out of the house before we are trapped by fire or smoke," said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection. "The new smoke detectors do not require periodic battery replacements, and therefore reduce the possibility of human error. This is an important law that will undoubtedly save lives."
Retailers will be able to sell any remaining residential-type removable battery-operated smoke detecting alarm devices in their inventories or were ordered prior to April 1. All product packaging containing a sealed, non-removable battery-operated smoke detector must include the following information: the manufacturer's name or registered trademark, the model number of the smoke detecting alarm device, and that the smoke detector has a minimum battery life of ten years.
Installation of smoke detectors is governed by applicable regional fire and building codes, which are not impacted by this change. Neither this new law nor regional fire and building codes will require the removal and/or replacement of any existing smoke detector powered by a replaceable, removeable battery that was installed in compliance with such codes.
For safety, alarms should still be checked for effectiveness twice each year by pressing the test button on the front of the detector.
Safety Tips for Today’s Home
Charging Electronic Devices and Toys: When charging phones and other electronic devices (kids’ toys, tablets, wireless headsets, etc), keep charging stations in sight and do not plug too many devices into any one electric socket. Many modern electronic devices and toys require additional electricity and can overload circuits. Overloaded electrical outlets can short out and cause fires. If you are charging anything with high electric current requirements, only use newer power strips that can account for the new electricity demands.
Detectors: Working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are still top of the list for home safety. Change batteries twice a year – during the Spring and Fall time changes. Make sure you have detectors in each of your sleeping areas and in the kitchen. If you have multiple floors in your home, make sure there is at least one of each on every floor. Both detectors are now sold with 10-year batteries. If you do not like changing batteries, now might be a good time to switch.
Fire Planning: Plan two exits out of any room in your home. Be sure everyone knows the plan. Keep a working flashlight by each exit and keep clutter out of the way.
Security and Communication Devices: When you buy a security camera or a home internet communication device make sure you know what software you will use with it (Alexa, Siri, Google Home, etc). Every software has different privacy settings, which are critical to protecting your information. Check out the Know Your Settings Guide to learn more.
WiFi: Some WiFi routers and extenders are secured through a universal login. Even when a WiFi router comes with a password to access the network, the main router may not be fully secured because it can be accessed through a universal login. Check with the WiFi provider before connecting to your network. If the network is secured with a universal login, work with the provider to adjust the settings.
Software Updates: Keep security software and system updates current. Having the latest version is the best defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats. It is critical to know what you are installing. BEFORE clicking install, do an online search to see if there are any known issues with the upgrade, particularly for your devices and computers.
Shred It: All mail contains your address. Some mail also contains hidden account information – especially in catalogs, coupons, and offers. Do not just throw out junk mail – shred it. Communities and businesses sometimes sponsor “shred days” where you can take advantage. While basic shredders are better than simply throwing out mail, cross shredding is considered the gold standard.
Sneaky Cameras: Cameras are in everything from phones, computers, baby and pet monitors, televisions and communications devices. Cameras can also be accessed without these devices being engaged. When you are not using the camera, put a blocker in place over the opening to protect yourself from unwanted invasions of your privacy.
Televisions: Televisions can tip over easily. Secure your televisions, electronic devices, and gaming consoles to avoid young children getting hurt if any machines tip over. Televisions should be mounted on the wall. Electronic cords and wires should be tucked behind entertainment consoles, out of reach from little fingers.
Cordless Window Blinds: The window treatment industry has agreed to phase out window treatments with cords. From 2012 to 2017, the CPSC received 50 fatality reports related to window cord strangulation among infants and young children. Stock window coverings sold in stores or online should be cordless or free of accessible cords to meet a revised voluntary safety standard that took effect on December 15, 2018. Go cordless today.
Children are faster than you think: Lock away medicines and cleaning supplies. Install and keep safety gates/guards – for stairs and windows – always locked. Never leave children alone in the bathtub when they are young. Also, do not forget to secure furniture and electronics away from climbing, prying hands
Install one or more approved and operational CO alarms in each dwelling unit, including at least one carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes. ... Each installed carbon monoxide detector must be equipped with an end-of-life alarm.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This can lead to serious tissue damage, or even death.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels.
If you think you or someone you're with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and seek emergency medical care.
Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
Nausea or vomiting
Shortness of breath
Loss of consciousness
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there's a problem.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air you're breathing, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This prevents oxygen from reaching your tissues and organs.
Various fuel-burning appliances and engines produce carbon monoxide. The amount of carbon monoxide produced by these sources usually isn't cause for concern. But if they're used in a closed or partially closed space — cooking with a charcoal grill indoors, for example — the carbon monoxide can build to dangerous levels.
Smoke inhalation during a fire also can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Exposure to carbon monoxide may be particularly dangerous for:
Unborn babies. Fetal blood cells take up carbon monoxide more readily than adult blood cells do. This makes unborn babies more susceptible to harm from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Children. Young children take breaths more frequently than adults do, which may make them more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Older adults. Older people who experience carbon monoxide poisoning may be more likely to develop brain damage.
People who have chronic heart disease. People with a history of anemia and breathing problems also are more likely to get sick from exposure to carbon monoxide.
Those in whom carbon monoxide poisoning leads to unconsciousness. Loss of consciousness indicates more severe exposure.
Depending on the degree and length of exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause:
Permanent brain damage
Damage to your heart, possibly leading to life-threatening cardiac complications
Fetal death or miscarriage
Simple precautions can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
Install carbon monoxide detectors. Put one in the hallway near each sleeping area in your house. Check the batteries every time you check your smoke detector batteries — at least twice a year. If the alarm sounds, leave the house and call 911 or the fire department. Carbon monoxide detectors are also available for motor homes and boats.
Open the garage door before starting your car. Never leave your car running in your garage. Be particularly cautious if you have an attached garage. Leaving your car running in a space attached to the rest of your house is never safe, even with the garage door open.
Use gas appliances as recommended. Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home. Use portable gas camp stoves outdoors only. Use fuel-burning space heaters only when someone is awake to monitor them and doors or windows are open to provide fresh air. Don't run a generator in an enclosed space, such as the basement or garage.
Keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented. These include:
Car and truck engines
Ask your utility company about yearly checkups for all gas appliances, including your furnace.
If you have a fireplace, keep it in good repair. Clean your fireplace chimney and flue every year.
Keep vents and chimneys unblocked during remodeling. Check that they aren't covered by tarps or debris.
Make repairs before returning to the site of an incident. If carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred in your home, it's critical to find and repair the source of the carbon monoxide before you stay there again. Your local fire department or utility company may be able to help.
Use caution when working with solvents in a closed area. Methylene chloride, a solvent commonly found in paint and varnish removers, can break down (metabolize) into carbon monoxide when inhaled. Exposure to methylene chloride can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
When working with solvents at home, use them only outdoors or in well-ventilated areas. Carefully read the instructions and follow the safety precautions on the label.