New Law Requiring Replacement Of Carbon Monoxide Alarms Goes Into Effect Today

This CO detector saved its owner's life according to the Flickr page (Source: windsordi/Flickr)

Just one day after news broke that five people died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a home in the suburbs of Washington D.C., a new New York City law goes into effect requiring residential property owners to replace their carbon monoxide detectors.

Local Law 75 passed the City Council in December, requiring  owners of Class A buildings – including single-family homes, apartments and condominiums – must replace their carbon monoxide (CO) alarms when they reach the end of the manufacturer’s suggest useful life – an average of five to seven years.

It expands on Local Law 7, passed in 2004, which made installation of the alarms a requirement for all dwellings with fossil-fuel buringin equipment. As many as two million property owners who installed them in 2004 will likely need to replace them now.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for 450 deaths a year, in addition to tens of thousands of emergency room visits, according to First Alert, a producer of smoke and CO detectors. The symptoms of CO poisoning, known as the silent killer, include nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting.