Daylight Saving- Who’s Responsible for Smoke Alarms in a Rental?
I love this time of year because it means the worst of the winter days are (cross your fingers) behind us and soon the trees and flowers will begin to bloom and the birds will begin to chirp, and the sun will come out of hiding.
Just in case you've forgotten, we "spring forward" on Sunday, March 8. Before your head hits the pillow on Saturday night, do yourself a favor and change the clocks on your stove, microwave, and any other device or appliance that doesn't change on its own. Trust me, if you don't, when you get up on Sunday morning, you'll be all sorts of confused.
It's also a good idea to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within the next couple of days. You don't have to wait until Sunday to do it, you can check them right now. You might also want to run your vacuum over your detectors to keep them dust-free so that they work the way they're intended. If you're in the market for a new smoke alarm, but you're not sure which type is right for your family, the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs has done the work of explaining the various types.
Are you a renter? If you are and if you live in the state of New York, the law states that your landlord is responsible for making sure that you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your landlord hasn't provided these for you, you might want to forward them a copy of the rules issued by the New York State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration. If you're not brave enough to face your landlord, you can call the New York State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration and ask them what to do. Their number is 518-474-4073.
If you weren't aware, a new law went into effect in the state of New York on April 1, 2019, requiring all new or replacement smoke detectors to be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery or hardwired to your home.
If you need a new smoke detector for your home and think you're going to be able to walk in and out of a store with one of the traditional style smoke alarms that take a 9-volt battery, that won't be happening. 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."
The new smoke detectors are definitely more expensive than traditional alarms, but not having to remember to change the battery every year means you and your family will be in a safer situation if a fire should break out in your home.
Also keep in mind that while the 'new' smoke detectors come with the non-removable battery, you should still test the alarm twice a year, and this week would be the perfect one to do so.