What You Need to Know About The Requirement of Natural Gas Alarms in NYC

In the wake of incidents such as the East Harlem explosion, New York City has introduced a series of Local Laws aimed at enhancing gas safety in buildings, particularly focusing on the installation of natural gas alarms. These alarms, which detect leaks and warn occupants before the gas reaches explosive levels, add an essential layer of protection for both residential and commercial properties. With Local Law 157 of 2016, New York City amended its Housing Maintenance and Building Codes to require the installation of natural gas alarms in residential buildings.


Agencies Come Together to Establish Guidelines

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) coordinated with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to create rules for the installation and placement of natural gas alarms. The two agencies aimed to ensure that all installations meet specific safety standards.

Type of Detectors and Proper Installation

Natural gas alarms differ from carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. They are designed specifically to detect gas leaks from appliances or pipes and alert occupants before gas levels become hazardous. For optimal performance, these alarms should be installed within 12 inches of the ceiling and positioned near gas appliances, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Important Role of Commercial Plumbers

Commercial plumbers play a significant role in ensuring compliance with these laws, as they are already involved in the mandatory inspections of gas piping systems. They are well-positioned to help building owners comply with this amended law by installing natural gas alarms and assisting with other safety measures. This synergy between plumbing professionals and building owners is crucial for creating a safer environment for all New Yorkers.


The importance of adhering to these standards cannot be overstated. Compliance ensures that alarms perform as intended, protecting lives and property. For building owners and property managers, partnering with professionals like ABR Plumbing is crucial. They can ensure your alarms meet these requirements to achieve a high level of safety for your property and its occupants.