New York State now requiring all smoke detectors to last 10 years, tamper-proof

Smoke detectors with a ten year battery

OSWEGO, N.Y. – On Monday, a new law goes into effect in New York State requiring a new style of smoke detectors. These detectors must be tamper-proof and last ten years, without replacing its batteries. Lieutenant Sean O’Gorman with the Oswego Fire Department says it’s a step in the right direction.

“It’s taking out the human factor of the 9 volt battery or two triple A batteries being replaced every year, or being removed period. A lot of times we (firefighters) go into apartment buildings, and due to annoyance from it (the detector) beeping, or they (tenants) need those batteries for the remote.”

Lt. O’Gorman, Oswego Fire Department

Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide alarms are extremely important for homeowners and tenants – they’ve been proven to save lives in fires. Within the past couple months, two fatal fires have claimed the lives of six people – a family of five in Watertown, and one man in Syracuse. Both homes did not have working smoke detectors.

“They save lives, in today’s world they say you have two to four minutes to get outside after the detector goes off, compared to ten years ago where it was closer to ten”

Lt. O’Gorman, Oswego Fire Department

As of April 1st, New York State will make it illegal for stores to sell the old style of detectors. However, homeowners will not be required to go out and buy a new detector immediately, and they won’t be fined if they don’t have one. Additionally, the standard cost for this new style of detector is about twenty dollars, and local fire departments also have programs available to help out those who might not be able to afford a new detector.