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New York Governor Signs Bill Requiring Home Carbon Monoxide Detectors

On July 30, 2002, New York Governor George Pataki signed into law SB 475/AB 2424, legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all new residential construction in the state. Eight days earlier, the National Electrical Manufacturers Assoc. (NEMA) government affairs department sent a letter to Pataki on behalf of the association’s carbon monoxide detector and sensor manufacturers urging him to sign the bill, calling it a “most important life safety issue.”

In the letter, NEMA reminded the governor that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that consumers purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. The NEMA carbon monoxide group recommended that all New York carbon monoxide detectors installed under this measure comply with NFPA standard 720, “Recommended Practice for the Installation of Household Carbon Monoxide Equipment,” and Underwriters Laboratory standard 2034, which establishes requirements for the manufacture of single and multiple station carbon monoxide alarms.

"This bill means greater residential safety for all New Yorkers,” said Douglas Troutman, NEMA government affairs manager. “I commend the New York state legislature and the governor for taking carbon monoxide poisoning prevention seriously. We stand ready to help in implementing this important life safety initiative. New York has done the right thing, and I look forward to seeing other state legislatures consider similar measures.”

Carbon monoxide--an invisible, colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas that is produced by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood, and other sources--reduces the blood’s capability to carry oxygen. At very high levels, it can cause loss of consciousness and death. More than 200 people die each year in homes due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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