How Many Smoke Detectors Do Your Tenants Need?

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.

All Multiple Dwellings

There needs to be at least one device per unit. Replace smoke detectors according to the manufacturer’s recommendation on the lifespan of the particular model. Detectors must also be replaced if the device has been removed or no longer functions properly.

Keep records of their installation and maintenance. These records must be provided to the HPD upon request.

Class A Multiple Dwellings

At least one detector needs to be within 15 feet of the main entrance to rooms primarily used for sleeping.

If the device defects within one year of installation, you must replace it within 30 days.

If your tenants fail to properly take care of the device, or there is a new device installed, they should reimburse you $25 for a smoke detector standalone, or $50 if the device also includes a carbon monoxide detector. This needs to be paid within one year of installation.

You also must post a notice informing tenants that they must have smoke detectors in their unit. Example notices can be found here.

Class B Multiple Dwellings

Tenants of Class B dwellings do not owe you any reimbursements for the cost of the device/installation.

You may install a DOB-approved line-operated zoned smoke detector throughout the whole dwelling. If you do not wish to use these, then install at least one alternative detector in the unit.

Private Dwelling (1-2 Family Home)

If tenants fail to properly take care of the device, or there is a new device installed, they should reimburse you $25 for a smoke detector standalone, or $50 if the device also includes a carbon monoxide detector. This needs to be paid within one year of installation.

Tenants’ Responsibilities

Tenants are recommended to test any detector devices at least once a month. Batteries should be changed the batteries twice a year. If there is a low battery warning, they should also be replaced.

Detectors should also never be painted over.

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

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  2. […] note that smoke detectors are also required in residential […]

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