By Frank Wilson III, Fire Inspector
As of February 22, 2010, Amanda's Law has been adopted by the State of New York. This updated law governs and mandates the use of Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms in the home.
NEW YORK STATE FIRE CODE section 611.3.4 requires that in existing buildings and structures: one and two Family dwellings, multiple single family dwellings (townhouses), and buildings owned as a condominium or cooperative and containing dwelling accommodations. A carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed within each dwelling unit or sleeping unit on the lowest story having a sleeping area.
Carbon monoxide alarms shall be listed and labeled as complying with UL 2034 or CAN/CSA 6.19, and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacture's installation instructions.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is defined as: a colorless, odorless, tasteless, poisonous gas which is highly toxic to humans and animals.
Carbon Monoxide sources include:
a. Any fuel- burning appliance that is malfunctioning or improperly installed.
b. Furnaces, gas range/ stove, gas clothes dryer, water heater, portable fuel-burning space heaters, fireplaces, generators and wood burning stoves.
c. Vehicles, generators and other combustion engines running in attached garages.
d. Blocked chimney or flue.
e. Cracked or loose furnace exchanger.
f. Back drafting and changes in air pressure.
g. Operating a grill in an enclosed area.
Effects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure are:
a. Common Mild Exposure- Slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, flu-like symptoms.
b. Common Medium Exposure- Throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate.
c. Common Extreme Exposure- Convulsions, unconsciousness, brain damage, heart and lung failure followed by death.
d. If you experience even mild CO poisoning symptoms, immediately consult a physician
If your CO alarm goes off, you need to get everyone out of the house into fresh air and call 911 from a neighbors house.
Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. A CO alarm will save you and your family's life.