On February 22, 2010, a new law went into effect in New York State to help protect families from the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the US: carbon monoxide (CO). This legislation is known as Amanda's Law in memory of Amanda Hansen, a West Seneca teen who lost her life to CO poisoning in January, 2009 while sleeping over at a friend's house.
January is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning awareness month.
Carbon monoxide detectors are essential in homes all year, but the threat of CO related illness is especially elevated during the winter months due to the use of gas burning furnaces, heaters, generators, and stoves. Even the snow accumulating outside of your home can block exhaust outlets. Since CO is odorless and colorless, a detector is the best way to protect yourself and your family from this silent danger.
Amanda's Law requires all homes in New York State to have CO detectors.
- CO Alarms must be installed in ALL NEW AND EXISTING one and two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings, and rentals having any fuel-burning appliance, system or attached garage.
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends CO Alarms be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- To comply with the law, CO alarms must be listed to comply with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 2034 or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) 6.19 and installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
- CO Alarms should be replaced every five (5) years in order to benefit from the latest technology and upgrades. Also the Carbon Monoxide sensors inside the alarm unit can wear out over time.
- How many CO Alarms should I have in my home to best protect my family? The # of Levels multiplied by the # of bedrooms = (# of Alarms you should have)
- Example: A two story home with a basement and three bedrooms should have six CO alarms.
CO detectors should be tested regularly, and replaced every 5-10 years.
Michael Krupski, EMS Chief at Armor Volunteer Fire Co., emphasizes the importance of regularly testing your smoke and CO detectors. He suggests "Check your packaging when purchasing a CO detector and it will contain an expiration date. The average life for a CO detector is 10 years, but can vary depending on the model you purchase. CO detectors that plug into your wall will have a battery backup in them, and it’s recommended that you change this battery twice a year. Personally, I change all my batteries the same time I switch my clocks for daylight savings time."
The Amanda Hansen Foundation provides furnaces and CO detectors for families in need.
Amanda's parents Ken and Kim Hansen established the Amanda Hansen Foundation in 2010, one year after the tragic loss of their young daughter. Their mission is simple: to educate about the dangers of CO poisoning, and prevent CO related deaths. At the beginning of this month, the foundation donated their 17,000th CO detector to a family that could not otherwise afford it. In this past year alone, the Amanda Hansen Foundation has collected 17 furnaces to be donated and installed in area homes. For information on how to qualify for a free CO detector or furnace, contact the Amanda Hansen Foundation at 716-380-1468 or email@example.com today.
You can help the Amanda Hansen Foundation save lives!
If you're interested in supporting the Amanda Hansen Foundation and their mission to prevent CO poisoning, there are a number of ways to get involved.
- Monetary donations are accepted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- CO detectors are available for purchase at Financial Trust Credit Union for a donation of $10.00.
- Share this life saving information about CO poisoning with friends and family! Everyone needs to know about this hidden danger in their home.
Still have questions?
For more information about Amanda's Law, visit the Amanda's Law website, or contact Safer Families at FamilySafetyCo@aol.com or 716-523-4210. Additional information about the Amanda Hansen Foundation can be found at their website, or by phone at 716-675-0083.
For questions regarding CO detectors, visit your local Valu Home Center and learn about your options. Our knowledgeable Associates are always available to help!