Survey Finds New Yorkers Not Adequately Protected from Silent Killer

New Law Requires Carbon Monoxide Alarms in Most Homes

Feb 17, 2010, 08:00 ET from Kidde

MEBANE, N.C., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ --  As the effective date for "Amanda's Law" nears, a new survey on behalf of Kidde shows that many New York homes are underprotected from carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, tasteless and poisonous gas that kills 400 people annually.  Kidde, a leading manufacturer of fire safety products, is part of UTC Fire & Security and a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

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Conducted in October 2009 by Brown Yardley and DecisionAnalyst, the survey found that more than half of respondents may not be safe from CO because they either do not have a carbon monoxide alarm or do not have enough alarms for the size of their home.  Three-fourths of New York homeowners live in a multilevel home, yet 37% of them have only one CO alarm installed.  Kidde and safety officials recommend placing a CO alarm on each floor and near sleeping areas.    

"The only safe way to detect carbon monoxide in your home is with a working CO alarm," said Rosemarie Ennis, coordinator for Safe Kids New York State, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing childhood injuries.  "Families need to place an alarm on every floor so that they can hear it when it sounds."  

Named after 16-year-old CO victim, Amanda Hansen, "Amanda's Law" goes into effect on February 22, and requires the installation of a CO alarm in all new and existing one and two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings and rentals with a fuel-burning appliance, system or attached garage.

"Amanda's Law expands upon our state's previous law, which only required CO alarms in new homes or when a home was sold," said Paul D. Martin, chief of New York State's Bureau of Fire Prevention.  "Now, thousands of families will be better protected from this silent killer."

Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  State health records show that from 2000-2006, 870 New York residents were hospitalized due to unintentional non-fire related CO poisoning.  US Census data shows that nearly all (90.5%) of New York housing uses some form of fossil-fuel burning heat source (gas, fuel oil, or kerosene), which can generate carbon monoxide.

The survey found that most homeowners recognize potential household CO sources, such as a furnace, water heater, fireplace, or a generator, but 83% didn't know when to replace a CO alarm.  

"CO alarms monitor your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are designed to provide accurate readings throughout the device's lifetime," said Chris Rovenstine, director of marketing and sales for Kidde.  "However, they don't last forever, and in general should be replaced every five years.  Kidde CO alarms have a lifetime of seven years.  If you don't know how old your alarm is, don't take a chance; replace it today."   

A carbon monoxide alarm with a digital display will show the level of CO present, while battery backup will protect families during a power outage.  Homeowners should also have their furnaces and fireplaces inspected annually and not use un-vented gasoline or kerosene space heaters or generators inside the home.

For more information on CO safety, visit

About Kidde

As the world's largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde's mission is to provide solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. For more than 90 years, industry leaders, the military, airlines and firefighters have relied on Kidde to deliver superior fire detection and suppression. Consumers will find that same advanced fire safety technology in Kidde's residential and commercial smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products.  Based in Mebane, NC, Kidde is part of UTC Fire and Security, which provides fire safety and security solutions to more than one million customers worldwide.  Headquartered in Connecticut, UTC Fire & Security is a business unit of United Technologies Corp., which provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries worldwide.  More information can be found at .