New Smoke Detector Law Set To Go Into Effect In New York

What you need to know about the new law set to go into effect in April.

A new law about smoke detectors goes into effect in New York State. (Image via Shutterstock)
WTEN-TV – Homeowners and landlords will soon need to swap out their smoke detectors for upgraded 10-year sealed models, thanks to a new New York State law going into effect this year.

The law says that starting April 1, 2019 all new or replacement smoke detectors in New York State must be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery or hardwired to the home.

Homeowners and landlords must upgrade their smoke detectors before selling or renting homes and apartments in New York State.

The upgraded smoke detector alarms include a sealed lithium battery with a 10-year lifespan. While these 10-year smoke detectors have a larger upfront cost than traditional alarms powered by replaceable batteries, the lack of yearly battery changes makes them cheaper over the life of the device. Like all safety alarms, 10-year sealed smoke alarms should still be tested at least once each year using the button on the front of the unit to ensure they are working properly.

By Michael Woyton, Patch Staff |

We’re not trying to fool anyone — especially for something as serious as having smoke detectors. This coming April 1 is the day a new law goes into effect that bans the sale or installation of any smoke detecting device that has a battery that can be replaced or removed.

The law states that, as of April 1, any new or replacement smoke detectors in the state have to be powered by a non-removable battery that lasts for at least 10 years, or it must be hardwired to the home’s electricity, localsyr.com said.

New smoke detecting units have a sealed lithium battery that people cannot take out.

The upgraded smoke detectors cost more than the ones you may still have in your home, but you will no longer than to spring for new batteries, making them likely cheaper over the long run, news10.com said.

Legislators originally passed a Jan. 1, 2017, effective date for the law, but it was amended to be in force April 1, 2019.

The New York State Association of Realtors, Inc., noted that the law does not require smoke detectors that are already in use to be in compliance, just ones that are being newly installed or replaced.

The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs said all smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old should be replaced, even if you think it’s still working.

Besides testing them on a regular basis, the alarms need to be cleaned to remove any dust, cobwebs, pet fur or other substances that may have made their way into the unit.

Cleaning could be as simple as using a hair dryer to blow air at the smoke alarm for a few seconds to get rid of any debris.

If you are concerned about the cost of the new smoke detectors, the Red Cross is giving some away for free as part of the Sound the Alarm program.

There will be a mega-install day in Yonkers in Westchester County May 11, according to a Red Cross spokeswoman.

To have a smoke detector installed, people can call 845-673-1198 to schedule an appointment or visit www.soundthealarm.org/mnyn and fill out the online form.

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