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Law changes smoke detector batteries ADVERTISEMENT

Law changes smoke detector batteries

NEW YORK STATE--The low-battery beeping of old smoke detectors will be a thing of the past as state legislation goes into full effect, April 1, 2019. The bill, signed in 2015, prohibited the sale or distribution of smoke detectors that use removable batteries by 2017 but the date was later amended to 2019. New smoke detectors will only be allowed to have 10-year non-replaceable batteries or be hardwired into the home under the regulations.
When the bill was approved, The Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) said, "As firefighters, we frequently encounter the horrific effects of fires in homes without working smoke alarms. This bill makes New York state a safer place and will undoubtedly go a long way toward preventing future home fire deaths."
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every five home fire deaths in the United States takes place in a home without working smoke alarms. Firefighters frequently encounter smoke alarms that have been disabled or are missing batteries. Older style fire detectors are often seen not working in areas like a kitchen or bathroom if they continually produce false alarms.
FASNY said while the new detectors are often more expensive than older models, manufacturers say consumers will save money over the life of the device because they won't have to purchase new batteries.
Prices start at around $20 and can go up for units that have additional functions such as carbon monoxide detection.
All smoke detectors, regardless of type, should be replaced every 10 years. Tests of the units should be periodical throughout the year.
"All homes and businesses must have working smoke detectors and it is undisputed that these devices save lives," Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote when he signed the bill.
The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs recommends "smoke alarms be installed on every floor of the home. In addition, smoke alarms should be installed inside every bedroom and outside of the sleeping area (in the hallway). It is also a good idea to install smoke alarms at critical points along your escape path. For example, put a smoke alarm at the bottom of a stairwell to warn you if the room below is full of smoke. Also, if you take frequent naps in a particular room that is not a bedroom, such as a sunroom or family room, consider installing a smoke alarm there, too."

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