BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: What You Need to Know About ‘Amanda’s Law’

Leon Cameron, Esq. | December 2017

In 2010, New York Gov. David Paterson signed “Amanda’s Law,” which went into effect on February 22 of that year. The law is named for 16-year-old Amanda Hansen of West Seneca, NY, who died in early 2009 due to a carbon monoxide leak from a defective boiler while she was sleeping at the home of a friend.

This law (Chapter 367 of the Laws of 2009) amended section 378 of the Executive Law regarding the standards for the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in homes and other dwellings, including any multiple dwelling. Amendments were made to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and State Building Code (NYS Fire Prevention and Building Code) to allow implementation. Based on these changes, carbon monoxide detectors are now required in most homes since Feb. 22, 2010. Properties located within New York City are subject to a different set of codes and have been required to be in compliance with a similar requirement passed in 2004.

In order to comply with Amanda’s Law, a minimum of one carbon monoxide detector must be installed in every home where there is a carbon monoxide source, defined as any appliance or system that may emit carbon monoxide, a fireplace, or a building with an attached garage, or other motor vehicle related occupancies. Per the amended NYS Fire Prevention and Building Code, in existing residences (constructed before Jan. 1, 2008) with a carbon monoxide source, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed on the lowest story having a sleeping area.

In existing homes constructed prior to Jan. 1, 2008, battery-operated units are acceptable and are not required to be interconnected. Homes constructed after that date should already have hard-wired, interconnected systems, as required by code. The specific requirements of the law differ for new and existing residences and also vary depending on the age of the building and occupancy category. For more information, check the full text of the law available at https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/docs/co_amandas_law.pdf.

Title companies and attorneys often have their own template affidavits used in conjunction with compliance with Amanda’s Law, prior to a closing. Although real estate licensees are not personally required to produce the form to buyers, or their representatives, the failure to comply with Amanda’s Law could delay a closing. A template of the form is also available to HGMLS Participants and Subscribers through Matrix.

Editor’s Note: The foregoing is for information purposes only and does not confer an attorney/client relationship. For a legal opinion or advice specific to your situation, please consult with a private attorney at law.

Leon Cameron, Esq.
Leon Cameron, Esq., is Director of Legal Services & Professional Standards Administrator for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.