Are space heaters illegal in NYC?
Hello, I'm Ted Curley, a licensed electrician with a wealth of experience in the electrical field. I've recently joined this platform as a contributor to share my extensive knowledge and insights with you. My journey in the electrical field spans over a decade, during which I have cultivated a deep...Read more
Before you plug in a space heater, it’s important to understand the regulations and safety measures surrounding its use. In this article, I will explain whether space heaters are illegal in NYC, the regulations imposed by the city, and the safety precautions you should take when using these devices.
The Tragic Twin Parks Apartments Fire
Less than a year ago, a devastating fire broke out in the Twin Parks apartments in the Bronx, claiming the lives of 19 individuals. The cause of the fire was determined to be a faulty space heater, prompting the need for stricter regulations and safety standards for these devices. In response to this tragedy, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation (S.7863A/A.9181B) to ensure that electric space heaters sold in New York State meet higher safety standards.
The Safe Space Heaters Act
The Safe Space Heaters Act, as it is commonly known, requires electric space heaters to have thermostats, automatic shut-offs, and certification by a testing and certification body recognized and approved by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This legislation aims to prevent future disasters and keep New Yorkers safe as they heat their homes during the winter months.
State Senator Cordell Cleare, one of the key proponents of the Safe Space Heaters Act, emphasized the importance of preventing fires and saving lives through this legislation. He commended Governor Hochul for signing the bill and stated that it is designed to make residences safer during the heating season.
Assemblymember Kenny Burgos, another advocate for the Safe Space Heaters Act, highlighted the significance of taking action after the Twin Parks apartments fire. He expressed gratitude towards Governor Hochul for signing the life-saving bill and ensuring that New Yorkers can stay safe in their homes.
Understanding the Regulations
To comply with the regulations in New York City, it is crucial to be aware of the specific requirements for space heaters. According to the amended general business law, retailers are prohibited from selling electric space heaters in New York State unless they have a thermostat, automatic shut-off, and certification by a testing and certification body recognized and approved by OSHA.
The purpose of these requirements is to enhance the safety of space heaters and reduce the risk of fires and other accidents. By incorporating thermostats and automatic shut-offs, the heaters can regulate the temperature and automatically turn off when certain conditions are met, preventing overheating and potential hazards.
Safety Precautions for Space Heater Use
While the new legislation ensures higher safety standards for space heaters, it is still essential for individuals to take additional precautions when using these devices. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
By following these safety precautions, you can mitigate the risks associated with space heater use and ensure the well-being of yourself and your loved ones.
To further enhance your understanding of space heater safety and prevent fires, the NYC Fire Department provides valuable resources on winter and holiday fire safety. Visit their website for comprehensive information on fire prevention measures.
For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning prevention and detection, visit the Department of Health’s Carbon Monoxide page. This resource will help you understand the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to protect yourself and your family.
In conclusion, space heaters are legal in New York City as long as they comply with the regulations set forth by the Safe Space Heaters Act. The recent legislation ensures that electric space heaters sold in the state meet higher safety standards, including the presence of thermostats, automatic shut-offs, and certification by an approved testing and certification body. As a responsible user, it is essential to follow the safety precautions outlined in this article to prevent accidents and protect yourself and your loved ones. Stay warm and stay safe this winter!