Effective April 1st, 2019 smoke alarms in New York state must be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or hardwired to the home. The law was passed in 2015. Traditional smoke alarms will no longer be available for sale in NY state after this date. It is the homeowners responsibility to change their alarm. Traditional smoke alarms and the new alarms both have an average life expectancy of 10 years.
Why a new law?
The dangerous regularity of disabling or removing smoke detectors after an accidental alarm while cooking is a major reason why New York made this change. Smoke alarm manufacturers considered this issue in the design of 10-year sealed alarms. As result these new units are likely to experience less nuisance alarms.
Do you have to replace your existing smoke alarms?
Homeowners are not required to immediately replace current smoke detectors,. Any that are replaced or added after April 1st are required to be 10-year battery powered or hardwired. Homeowners and landlords must upgrade their smoke alarms before selling or renting homes and apartments.
Smoke Alarm Placement
According to the Fire Code of New York State, smoke alarms should be located in each room used for sleeping purposes and in every hallway. A carbon monoxide detector should be on every floor of the home as well.
As with all smoke alarms, manufactures recommend units be tested at least twice each year using the test button on the unit. You also might want to get a smoke pen or can of liquid smoke, which will allow you to test the alarms smoke sensor rather than just the electronics.
With all the talk about smoke alarms, you might wonder what the difference is between smoke detectors. Smoke alarms are self-contained, single or multiple-station smoke-sensing devices used in residential settings. Whereas smoke detectors are smoke-sensing devices that are not self-contained. They operate as an interconnected system. Smoke detectors are are mostly used in commercial and industrial settings.