New York state adopted a new law that changes requirement for residential smoke detectors, effective April 1st of this year. The change in law has received lots of attention from the media, much of which is full of incorrect information. I wanted to clarify here what the new law means to Buffalo and Western New York homeowners and buyers.
I wanted to read the law for myself, but surprisingly it was tricky to locate.
1. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to distribute, sell, offer for sale, or import any solely battery operated smoke detecting alarm device powered by a replaceable, removable battery. All solely battery operated smoke detecting alarm devices that are distributed, sold, offered for sale, or imported, shall employ a non-removable, non-replaceable battery that powers the device for a minimum of ten years.
2. All product packaging containing a solely battery operated smoke detecting alarm device shall include the following information:
(a) the manufacturer’s name or registered trademark and the model number of the smoke detecting alarm device; and
(b) that such alarm device is designed to have a minimum battery life of ten years.
3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to solely battery operated smoke detecting alarm devices powered by a replaceable, removable battery that have been ordered by, or are in the inventory of, owners, managing agents, contractors, wholesalers or retailers on or before the effective date of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to smoke detecting alarm devices that receive their power from the electrical system of the building, fire alarm systems with smoke detectors, fire alarm devices that connect to a panel, devices that use a low-power radio frequency wireless communication signal, or such other devices as the state fire administrator shall designate through its regulatory process.
Be aware that some towns and villages in Western New York have adopted stricter regulations than New York State, and require hardwired smoke detectors to be installed and inspected prior to closing of a real estate sale.