Smoke and Cardon Monoxide Detectors – Replace More Than Just the Batteries

For our New York City clients and others who are mandated to have both smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors in their homes, we want to issue a reminder as well as a warning.

With the recommended semi-annual battery replacement time approaching, it is also a good time to check on the manufacture date of your CO detectors. Seven years ago, New York City enacted an ordinance requiring CO detectors in most residences. The law mandates a CO alarm installed within 15 feet of sleeping areas. As of this November, millions of those original detectors either will have reached or are about to reach the end of their useful life.

“Once a CO alarm reaches the end of its useful life, it won’t detect carbon monoxide. Families may not realize they are in danger if they don’t replace their older alarms,” warns Chris Rovenstine, vice president of marketing and sales for Kidde. “You can’t see, taste or smell carbon monoxide. The only safe way to detect it is with a working CO alarm.”
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the independent third-party agency that tests CO alarms, has required an audible, end-of-life warning in all UL-listed alarms since 2009. Although not required at the time, some of the original NYC units have this warning signal and may begin beeping regularly next month.

For more information on New York City or New York state’s CO laws, or how to choose a CO alarm, visit