Commercial property owners, landlords, and tenants should be aware that compliance with New York State’s new carbon monoxide detector law must be satisfied by June 27, 2016.  The law requires that all commercial buildings with a carbon monoxide source be equipped with carbon monoxide detection.[1]  Carbon monoxide sources include furnaces, boilers, heaters, stoves, and fireplaces that may emit carbon monoxide.  The requirements also apply to commercial buildings attached to a garage or other motor-vehicle related occupancy.

Generally, each story of the building must have a centrally located carbon monoxide detector.  In those buildings with more than 10,000 square feet per floor, detection is required in a central location as well as additional areas so that no point is more than 100 feet from detection.   The location of the detector may also depend on the location of the carbon monoxide source.

Carbon monoxide detection for buildings constructed before December 31, 2015 may either be hardwired to the building’s power supply or powered by a 10-year battery; in those buildings constructed after December 31, 2015, the detectors must be hardwired.  Landlords and building owners also have the option to install a carbon monoxide detection system that has an off-premises signal transmission.  Detectors that plug into a power outlet or combination carbon monoxide/smoke alarms will not satisfy the requirements of the law.  Noncompliance can carry civil, criminal, or administrative penalties imposed by local governments and agencies.

Commercial tenants are advised to review their lease agreements, as landlords may be able to flow down the cost of installation to tenants as “operating costs” if supported by the lease.   If you have any questions regarding compliance with the law or determining responsibility for compliance under a lease agreement, please contact us.

Please also see our Labor & Employment blog post about employer obligations regarding the new law.

[1] The law provides a narrow exception for buildings used entirely for storage.