NYC Local Law 191: Rule Amendment for Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Why They Are Required

NYC Local Law 191: Rule Amendment for Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Why They Are RequiredThe Department of Buildings (DOB) is proposing an amendment to 1 RCNY 908-01 in compliance with Local Law 191 of 2018 relating to carbon monoxide detector placement. New requirements for carbon monoxide (CO) detector placement were added for additional occupancy types as well as retroactive requirements for existing buildings.

The amendment includes buildings classified as occupancy groups B and M. CO detectors with built-in sounder bases should be installed in commercial buildings that are equipped with a fire alarm system. They should be installed in the following areas:

    • Any room containing CO-producing equipment, except for kitchens.
    • Any corridor on the same floor as an enclosed parking lot or loading dock, including one floor above and one floor below.
    • Any corridor where carbon-monoxide producing equipment units are located, including one floor above and one floor below.
    • Any parking attendant’s booth in an enclosed garage or loading dock.

Subject to the Department’s approval, as an alternative to installation in the above locations, CO detectors can be installed in locations determined by a performance-based design that is in accordance with Section of reference standard National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 720.

The DOB will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed amendments and is inviting anyone to provide commentary at the hearing. View the Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Rules.

Why Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Required

The installation of mandatory carbon monoxide detection systems for commercial properties and indoor places of public assembly came into effect in New York State in June 2015. Named the Steven Nelson’s Law, the mandate was initiated after restaurant manager Steven Nelson died from a carbon monoxide leak.

According to the Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), accidental carbon monoxide poisoning results in 400 fatalities and 20,000 injuries, with approximately 4,000 hospitalizations on an annual basis. Carbon monoxide detectors can protect your employees and tenants against this hazardous gas.

Carbon Monoxide is a ‘Silent Killer’

Carbon monoxide is regarded as a ‘silent killer.’ An odorless, invisible gas, it is a naturally-occurring chemical compound that’s created by incomplete carbon-based fuel combustion. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include weakness, nausea, headaches, vomiting, confusion, dizziness, and chest pain; however, if left untreated, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause loss of consciousness or death.

Office buildings or commercial properties with semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation pose the greatest risk. The dangers increase during the winter months when space heaters and portable generators are used more often. There’s no denying that code-compliant carbon monoxide detectors along with effective ventilation systems can save lives.

For carbon monoxide detector installation and testing in New York City, contact Total Fire Protection (718) 785-8297.