New York State Smoke Detector Law

White plastic fire alarm smoke detector with red LED indicator on ceiling.

By law, all one- and two-family homes in New York State are required to install and maintain smoke detectors with an audible and/or visible alarm. As of April 1, 2019, the law also requires all smoke detectors sold in New York State to be powered by a sealed, non-removable battery with a minimum battery life of 10 years, or they must be hard-wired to the home.

Where to Install Smoke Detectors

Smoke alarms should be installed so that they can be heard clearly in each bedroom or sleeping area, even with the doors closed. If there are bedrooms on more than one floor, smoke detectors should be installed on each level adjacent to the sleeping area.

The ideal placement of smoke detectors is on the ceiling or high on the wall. They should be installed at least four inches from any corners and, if wall-mounted, they should be within 12 inches of the ceiling. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best placement of your specific alarm.

When to Test, Clean, and Replace Smoke Detectors

While smoke detectors sealed with a lithium battery are designed to last for 10 years, they should still be tested annually by pressing the button on the front of the unit. They should also be replaced after 10 years, even if they appear to still be working. You’ll also want to wipe clean your smoke detectors at least once a year to remove any dust and dirt.

Smoke Detectors Save Lives

If your home or business is damaged by a fire, MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration can help you repair and rebuild, but we can’t restore loss of life. Nighttime fires are the most likely to go undetected with devastating effects. By installing and maintaining smoke alarms outside bedrooms and other sleeping areas, it could mean the difference between life and death.

For more information on fire safety, check out our tips for preventing chimney fires and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.