New NYS Law
Requires Smoke Detector Upgrades by
April 1, 2019
FIRE CHIEF'S OFFICE
Administration & Training
320 Harry L. Drive
Johnson City, NY 13790-1403
Fax: (607) 729-2187
FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE
Fire Prevention & Investigation
"Juvenile Firesetters Intervention"
320 Harry L Drive
Johnson City, NY 13790-2565
Voice & Fax: (607) 729-0428
Site Originally Created by:
Fire Marshal (Retired) Robert G. Blakeslee
Questions/Comments? Lt Robert S. Blakeslee
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All smoke detectors sold in New York State AFTER April 1, 2019, are required to be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or hardwired to the home.
According to NYS Law 399-ccc: "It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to distribute, sell, offer for sale, or import any battery operated smoke detecting alarm device powered by a replaceable or removable battery not capable of powering such device for a minimum of ten years."
Homeowners and landlords must upgrade their smoke detectors before selling or renting homes and apartments in New York State.
While these 10-year smoke detectors have a larger upfront cost than traditional alarms powered by replaceable batteries (approximately $20 per unit) the lack of yearly battery changes makes them cheaper over the life of the device.
As with ALL smoke detectors, the Johnson City Fire Department recommends that the 10-year sealed smoke alarms still be tested at least twice each year using the button on the front of the unit to ensure they are working properly.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to replace the alarms I have installed already?
You are not required to immediately replace your current smoke detectors, but any that are replaced or added after April 1st are required to be 10-year battery powered or hardwired. After this date, traditional removable battery smoke alarms will be unavailable for purchase in NY State.
Are they more expensive than non-sealed alarms?
Up front? Yes. In the long term? No. Most 10-year sealed smoke alarms range in price from roughly $20-$30, making their initial investment higher than a non-sealed alarm, but non-sealed alarms require annual battery changes. The cost of these replacement batteries average $38 over their 10-year life span, meaning they ultimately cost more than the sealed version.
Do they really last 10 years?
Yes they do, the sealed lithium battery (included) will never have to be replaced throughout the life of the alarm, giving you a decade of peace of mind even in the event of a power outage
Will I activate the alarm when I'm cooking something?
No. There are 10-year sealed alarms specifically designed for the kitchen with advanced sensors that can tell the difference between cooking smoke and real fire.
Why did the law change to require these upgrades?
The dangerous habit of disabling or removing smoke detectors after an accidental alarm while cooking is a major part of why this new legislation went into effect, so alarm manufacturers considered this issue in the design of 10-year sealed alarms. You are very likely to experience less nuisance alarms than you did with your traditional battery alarm.
Are 10-year sealed smoke alarms better than hard-wired smoke alarms?
There are advantages to both systems. Hard-wired smoke alarms tie into your home's wiring and require professional installation, but generally do not require battery changes unless they feature a backup battery. 10-year sealed battery-only alarms are simple to install, and they work during a power failure. All smoke alarms have a life span of 10 years, sealed or non-sealed, and should be tested on a regular basis. When the battery wears out in a 10-year sealed alarm, the entire unit must be replaced, which helps prevent outdated units from staying in operation.
What about landlords and their rental properties?
10-year sealed alarms offer security and convenience to landlords, who are legally required by New York State to provide smoke detectors in their rental properties. The tamper-proof design of these alarms prevents tenants from removing the batteries due to nuisance alarms, or to use the batteries for another purpose. The 10-year lifespan of these lithium batteries mean fewer changes, and less equipment updates. Overall, there is a lesser chance of equipment failure in the event of a fire
If you are a Johnson City resident, please call the Fire Marshal's Office at 729-0428 if you need help in knowing where smoke detectors should be located in your home.