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The Northeast Gas Association (NGA) is a regional trade association that focuses on education and training, technology research and development, pipeline safety, energy reliability and affordability, and environmental initiatives in the Northeast U.S.



New York City Issues a Building Code Mandate for the Installation of Fuel Gas Alarms in Residential Dwellings based on NFPA® 715

On February 12, 2024, New York City became the first major urban jurisdiction to issue a building code mandate for the installation of natural gas alarms in residences based on NFPA® 715, the Standards for the Installation of Fuel Gases Detection and Warning Equipment with some modifications. The mandate requires installations of the alarms by May 1, 2025.

Following the East Harlem incident of March 12, 2014, New York City issued a series of Local Laws aimed at providing additional layers of protection for buildings with gas service, including enhanced public awareness programs for building owners, mandated interior gas piping safety inspections by Licensed Master Plumbers (LMP's), significant enhancements to training and qualification requirements, and a requirement for installation of natural gas alarms in residential buildings. Local Law 157 of 2016 amended the New York City Housing Maintenance Code and the New York City Building Code to require the installation of natural gas detecting devices in residential buildings. It also required the Department of Buildings to promulgate a rule regarding the installation and location of natural gas alarms after industry standards are developed to address installation requirements. In parallel, NGA and Con Edison actively participated in the development of the National Fire Protection Association ("NFPA") Standard 715, which addresses device and location placement requirements. NFPA Standard 715 went into effect April 9, 2022, and coupled with the New York City Department of Buildings Rule Section 908-02, clarifies the installation and location requirements of the standard applicable to Local Law 157. While these installation requirements amend some provisions of NFPA 715 based on comments received in a Public hearing, which NGA participated in on behalf of membership.

In response to comments received, language was added to address placement of alarms that does not allow for installation of an alarm at least 3 feet from a fuel-gas-burning appliance. Also, the list of people who can install alarms powered by batteries or by plugging in was expanded to allow someone other than a building owner, maintenance personnel or tenant, such as LMP's, to install those kinds of alarms.

The Department of Buildings' authority for these rules is found in sections 643 and 1043 of the New York City Charter. A copy of the Department of Building Rules for Installation of Fuel Gas Alarms can be found here.