New Yorkers throughout the state should be safer in the next decade after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week that will strengthen requirements for smoke detectors for all citizens. The law, which won't affect new smoke detectors until January 1st, 2017, mandates that the safety devices will all contain non-removable batteries with a working life of at least 10 years. The bill is intended to keep smoke detectors operational for long periods of time by making it virtually impossible for residents to temporarily disable the devices if they go off while food is being prepared or if a person needs to borrow the batteries for another device.
What You Need to Know About the New Smoke Detector Law
Current smoke detector technology allows users to remove the device's batteries whenever they please if they need to replace the batteries in their remote control or any other household instrument. The new guidelines will also eliminate the need for consumers to remember to replace the batteries on a consistent basis. According to government statistics, nearly two thirds of fire-related deaths take place nationally in homes or places of business that don't contain an operational smoke detector.
Firefighters across the state pushed for the bill's passage in order to cut down on preventable fires in New York. The decade-long battery technology is already available in numerous models that are on sale in stores now, but the enhanced detectors won't be required by law statewide until the beginning of next year. The improved smoke detectors will run approximately $25 for each unit that features long-lasting batteries.
Although homeowners and business have until the start of next year to comply with the law, the legislation includes a two year grade period before the sales mandate must be fully implemented. The sponsors of the bill have agreed to work on amendments in the coming legislative session that will clear away technical issues with the new law. Eleven other states throughout the country already have similar requirements on their books. New York first passed fire detector legislation in 1961. After 55 years of mandated smoke detectors statewide, the governor decided to push for more stringent technology that will hopefully ensure that many lives will be saved in the coming years.
Credit: Rockland Review Newspaper, Article Friday 1/8/16