NYC Families May Unknowingly Be In Danger of the Silent Killer

New Survey Shows Residents Unaware Carbon Monoxide Alarms Must be Replaced

Oct 05, 2011, 14:22 ET from Kidde

MEBANE, N.C., Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven years after New York City enacted an ordinance requiring carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in most residences, millions of those units either have reached or will reach the end of their useful life.  Yet, a new survey reveals 45 percent of residents do not know CO alarms need to be replaced. The survey was conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Kidde, the world's largest manufacturer of fire safety products.  Kidde is part of UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX).

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"Once a CO alarm reaches the end of its useful life, it won't detect carbon monoxide.  Families may not realize they are in danger if they don't replace their older alarms," said Chris Rovenstine, vice president of marketing and sales for Kidde.  "You can't see, taste or smell carbon monoxide. The only safe way to detect it is with a working CO alarm."

CO alarms monitor the home 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are designed to provide accurate readings throughout the life of the alarm. Like all other household appliances, CO alarms don't last forever. They must be replaced every five to seven years.

The August survey found most respondents (56%) didn't know that CO alarms must contain an audible warning to alert them when the alarm needs to be replaced.  Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the independent third-party agency that tests CO alarms, requires this end-of-life warning in all UL-listed alarms.  

"We urge residents to take action and replace older CO alarms now," said Lieutenant Anthony Mancuso, Director of Fire Safety Education for FDNY. "The combination of beeping alarms and homeowners who don't know why their alarms are sounding could significantly increase the chance of non-emergency calls, taking fire and emergency personnel away from true crisis situations."

As part of Kidde's commitment to safety, its alarms have contained the end-of-life warning since 2001, prior to UL's requirement, and meet all other safety standards. Other CO alarms installed in New York City in 2004 do not have an end-of-life warning and will expire without alerting the homeowner, which may leave families unprotected.

Kidde's CO alarms contain the world's most accurate sensing technology, based on claims by major manufacturers, and last seven years. The longer life equates to two more years of alerting New York families to deadly carbon monoxide in their homes.

New York City requires a CO alarm installed within 15 feet of sleeping areas.  Additionally, safety experts recommend placing alarms on every level and away from fuel-burning appliances.  Consumers can find Kidde CO alarms at major home improvement retailers and mass merchants.

For more information on New York City or New York state's CO laws, or how to choose a CO alarm, visit or

About Kidde

Kidde Residential & Commercial is the leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, fire extinguishers, and has been delivering advanced fire safety technology for more than 90 years. Kidde is a business of UTC Fire & Security, a company that provides fire safety and security solutions to more than 1 million customers worldwide. Headquartered in Connecticut, UTC Fire & Security is a business unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), which provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries worldwide. More information can be found at  and