Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

New York City requires the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Both property owners and tenants have responsibilities to ensure that all New Yorkers remain safe in their homes from the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Residential owners are required to ensure that tenants are provided with both carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors (SD) that comply with the physical requirements of the Building Code.

The following requirements regarding installation, replacement, and placement of the devices, as well as notifications and record-keeping requirement, apply to all properties, whether a Class A Multiple Dwelling, a Class B Multiple Dwelling or a Private Home (1-2 family dwelling). Additional requirements which apply only to specific classifications of buildings are also outlined below.

All Dwellings
CO SD
Provide and install at least one approved and operational detecting device within each dwelling unit. Y Y

Replace any detector:

  • Periodically upon the expiration of their useful life.
  • In 30 days if it becomes inoperable within one year of installation due to a defect and no fault of the occupant.
  • Which has been stolen, removed, missing or rendered inoperable before new tenant moves in if prior tenant has not replaced it.
Y Y
Each installed detector must be equipped with an end-of-life alarm. Y N
Provide written information regarding the testing and maintenance of detectors, including general information concerning carbon monoxide poisoning and what to do if an alarm goes off, to at least one adult occupant of each dwelling unit when the unit is installed. Y N
Keep and provide upon request all records relating to the installation and maintenance of:
  • Smoke detectors (provide to HPD)
  • Carbon monoxide detectors (provide to HPD, DOB, DOHMH or FDNY)
Y Y
Never paint over detectors. Y Y

Class A Multiple Dwellings
CO SD
Install detector(s) within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room. Y Y
Post a notice in a common area informing occupants of the law's requirements. Y Y
File a Certificate of Installation with HPD. Y Y

One- & Two-Family Homes (non-owner occupied units)
CO SD
Install detector(s) within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room. Y Y
File a Certificate of Satisfactory Installation with HPD. Y N
Provide a notice, in a form approved by HPD, informing occupants of carbon monoxide detector requirements. Y N
Class B Multiple Dwellings
CO SD
Instead of providing and installing at least one approved and operational detector within each unit, Class B buildings may provide and install a hard wired zoned smoke detector and/or carbon monoxide detector system throughout the multiple dwelling in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by DOB. Y Y
Install detectors within the dwelling unit. Y Y
File a Certificate of Installation with HPD. Y Y
Tenants also have responsibilities regarding both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Keep and maintain detector in good repair.
Replace a detector which has been stolen, removed, missing or rendered inoperable during occupancy.
If you live in a Class A building (apartments): Reimburse the building owner $25 for each smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, or $50 for each joint smoke/carbon monoxide detector, that is newly installed or installed as a result of the occupant's failure to maintain the detector or where the detector has been lost or damaged by the occupant.

The occupant has one year from the date of installation to make a payment. If you live in a Class B building (transient use): No reimbursement to a property owner is required. If you live in a private dwelling (1-2 family home);

Reimburse the building owner $25 for each carbon monoxide detector that is newly installed or installed as a result of the occupant's failure to maintain the detector or where the detector has been lost or damaged by the occupant. The occupant has one year from the date of installation to make a payment.
Test all detectors at least once a month.
Replace batteries twice a year, in the spring and in the fall when clocks are changed for daylight savings time.
Immediately replace the batteries if the low battery warning sounds.
Never paint over detectors.

Filing requirements

Filing is required when devices are changed according to the requirement timeframes or whenever broken/missing devices are replaced. You can file either by using HPDONLINE (no hard copy submission is required if you submit online) or by printing and properly completing (including a signature) the below forms. You must be validly registered with HPD in order to file this Certificate online or to submit a forms. In buildings with cooperative units, the managing agent for the cooperative owners of the building should be filing the form for all units in the building. In buildings with condominium units, the Board of Managers must file a form for the entire building.

File online: Type in your building address. On the next screen, look for the left menu bar and click on the option Submit Certificate of Installation. No hard copy submission is required and you will receive a receipt for your submission.

Notice samples:

  • Carbon Monoxide:
    • Required to be posted for Class A multiple dwellings (apartment buildings with 3 or more units)
    • Required to be distributed for 1-2 family tenant occupied units.
  • Smoke Detector:
    • Required to be posted for Class A multiple dwellings (apartment buildings with 3 or more units)

Carbon Monoxide Exemption: Some units in buildings without fossil fuel burning furnaces or boilers may be exempt from filing a Certificate of Satisfactory Installation. You should review the Department of Buildings regulations on www.nyc.gov/buildings for more information on exemption. You must file an Affidavit of Exemption with HPD to request an exemption. If you are filing for a partial exemption, you have the option to modify the notice that should be posted in the building (see bullet 2 above). You should submit the modified posting that you wish to use with your exemption application for approval by the Department.

For the answers to some other Frequently Asked Questions about Carbon Monoxide, read HPD's full FAQ on Carbon Monoxide.


Law and Rules