Story at a glance
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a bill into law Thursday requiring electric space heaters sold in the state to have thermostats and automatic shutoffs.
- Under the law, space heaters must also be certified by a testing and certification body recognized by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- The new law comes almost one year after a deadly fire in the Bronx started by a malfunctioning space heater killed 17 people.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a bill into law Thursday expanding safety standards for electric space heaters almost a year after one of the machines sparked a deadly fire in the Bronx.
Under the law, electric space heaters sold in New York state are required to be equipped with thermostats and automatic shutoffs. The machines must also be certified by a testing and certification body recognized and approved by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Space heaters that fail to pass muster under the new law could be barred from being sold at retailers throughout the state.
On Jan. 9, a malfunctioning electric space heater set fire to a home in the 19-story high Twin Parks North West apartment complex in the Bronx, killing 17 people, eight of whom were children.
Most of the victims were killed by the smoke produced by the fire, which quickly spread through the building via two self-closing doors which failed to shut.
“After flames engulfed the Twin Parks apartments last year, we worked to help impacted families recover and vowed to never forget the tragedy and to protect New Yorkers,” Hochul said.
“As the weather gets colder once again and we crank up the heat in our homes, this legislation will help prevent future disasters and keep New Yorkers safe as we ensure higher safety standards for all electric space heaters sold in our state.”