New rule aims to keep customers safe from carbon monoxide in NY

Whether a grocery store, department store, office complex or hospital, businesses are required to provide those that enter their buildings with a safe environment. There are a number of regulations and ordinances in place designed to help better ensure that patrons are properly protected. The Department of State recently passed an additional measure to offer further protection.

This new measure deals specifically with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can lead to serious problems, and even death, if inhaled. The gas can be detected with carbon monoxide detectors, which set of an alarm when the gas is present, alerting anyone that may be in the vicinity of the potential danger. This specific measure requires that commercial buildings install and maintain carbon monoxide devices.

Is carbon monoxide poisoning really a problem?

The Department of State reports that there are an estimated 450 hospitalizations connected to carbon monoxide poisoning in New York State each year. Of these hospitalizations, 55 result in fatalities.

What types of buildings are included?

The rule requires commercial buildings to comply with the carbon monoxide detector requirement. The definition is broad, requiring both those owned by private parties and municipalities. The rule specifically includes schools that meet certain qualifications but exempts buildings that are “only occupied occasionally and only for building or equipment maintenance.”

When does the rule go into effect?

The rule is scheduled to go into effect in two different waves, depending on the type of commercial building. Those that are considered new construction are required to comply with the rule upon construction. Existing buildings, defined as buildings that were constructed before December 31, 2015, are required to come into compliance by June 27, 2016.