Do Your Tenants Need Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that is dangerous for us to breathe in, but we cannot detect it unassisted. It is colorless, tasteless, and odorless to humans. Detecting devices are necessary in homes, in order to alert us of unsafe CO buildup.

If there is carbon monoxide in your building, immediately go outside and call 911. You can also contact Poison Control at 212-POISONS (212-764-7667) after you are safely outdoors.

What kind of buildings need detectors?

  • One-Family Homes
  • Two-Family Homes
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Multiple Dwellings
  • Hotels
  • Dormitories
  • Nursing Homes
  • Schools

Take note that smoke detectors are also required in residential units.

Where do they need to be installed?

  • Within 15 feet of the main entrance to every room used for sleeping purposes
  • Try not to install these devices near warm/damp areas (such as near bathrooms
  • At least one device must be in every dwelling unit


  • Devices should have end-of-life alarm that signifies that it will stop working soon
  • Replace unit at the end of the period recommended by the manufacturer
  • Keep records of installations and maintenance for the HPD, DOB, DOHMH, and/or FDNY. They may ask to view these records


Tenants should also do their part to help avoid CO buildup. They should:

  • Keep chimneys clean and remove excess soot
  • Keep power generators running outside at least 20ft. from enclosed areas or windows
  • Make sure a car’s tailpipe is clear before starting in a garage
  • Not use an outdoor grill indoors
  • Not keep a car running in an enclosed area
  • Not heat their home or apartment using a gas stove or oven
  • Not use gas-powered tools in an enclosed area

Tenants also may need to be informed about carbon monoxide detectors via a physical notice.

  1. […] You can learn more about individual requirements for smoke detectors here and carbon monoxide alarms here. […]


  2. […] Smoke detectors greatly reduce the risk of dying in a fire, which is why New York City requires them to be installed in all dwellings. Similar rules also apply to carbon monoxide detectors. […]


  3. […] you have tenants, here are the CO2 detection rules you must […]


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