Feb 10

Commercial Carbon Monoxide Detectors to be Required in New York State

As a result of the carbon monoxide (CO) leak at Legal Seafoods restaurant in Huntington last year killing the manager, Steve Nelson’s Law was passed and signed by the Governor in December, 2014. It requires installation of CO detectors by June, 2015 in any attached garage or restaurant or in any commercial building which has appliances or systems that could cause CO exposure to occur.

New York City has its own code requiring installation and is exempt from this law. New York coops, condos and one and two family homes are also already covered. Commercial landlords and tenants outside New York State should also consider whether CO detection systems are warranted for safety’s sake even if not legally required.

This law requires owners to make the installation and to maintain the CO detectors. Tenants and landlords should refer to their lease agreements to see if the lease language effectively transfers this obligation to the tenant. New leases should clearly state which party shall have these CO detector installation and maintenance requirements. Contact your Goetz Fitzpatrick partner or Gerald Morganstern for advice about or analysis of the language in your lease(s).

Standards for the CO detector system are to be set by the New York Uniform. Fire Prevention and Building Council. The standards are likely to be similar to the ones already in place for New York City. You may wish to make installations now to prevent a possible tragedy and modify or add to the system if the new standards require it.

Any new system should have as a minimum: a) ten year lithium battery life, b) end of life warning, c) tamper resistance; self activation. Fire and security system companies will be the best resource for obtaining standards as soon as published and determining your needs.

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