As a result of recent legislation, Amandas Law went into effect on February 22, 2010.  Amanda's Law was named in honor of Buffalo resident Amanda Hansen, a teenage girl who lost her life to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from a defective boiler when sleeping over a friend's house in January 2009.

It requires essentially all residences, both new and existing, to have carbon monoxide alarms installed.  The specific requirements differ for new and existing residences and also on when the buildings were built and subcategories of occupancy groups. 

Carbon Monoxide Facts:

  • Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.

  • Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer - you cannot see it, smell it or taste it.  The ONLY safe way to detect it is with a carbon monoxide alarm.  Carbon Monoxide alarms range in price from $20 to $50, depending on additional features.

  • CO is produced anytime a fuel is burned.  Potential sources include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes.

  • Most CO incidents happen during the winter months, mainly due to an increased use in fuel-burning appliances.

  • At high concentration levels, CO can be fatal in minutes.  CO rapidly accumulates in the blood and is attracted to the hemoglobin in your bloodstream.  When breathed in, CO passes through the lungs and bonds with hemoglobin, displacing the oxygen that cells need to function.

Probably the most asked questions will be the requirement for existing one and two-family residences.  At a minimum if there is a CO source in the home, then they will be required to have one carbon monoxide alarm installed on the lowest story having a sleeping area.  

The new law requires the following:

  • CO alarms must be installed in all new and existing one and two-family dwellings, multi-family dwellings and rentals having a fuel-burning appliance, system or attached garage.  

  • The NFPA recommends CO alarms be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

  • CO alarms must be listed to comply with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 2034 or CSA (Candadian Standards Association) 6.19 and installed in accordance with manufactureres instructions.

For more information about carbon monoxide and other fire safety information, please visit the NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL'S website and contact the Town of Cortlandt Code Enforcement Office at 914-734-1010 or email your questions to Holly Haight, Fire Inspector at HOLLYH@TOWNOFCORTLANDT.COM .