Code Question: When are CO Detectors Required in Commercial Spaces?

By Brian Lafferty

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors are required for certain residential, education and institutional uses.  Additionally, commercial and residential buildings with a Fire Alarm system and a place of assembly must have CO detectors.  The CO detector must have the ability to transmit a signal to supervisors and must also have auditory and visual alarms in the location that is constantly attended.

Aside from these requirement, no overarching regulation requires commercial buildings to install CO detectors.  While the services of CO detectors are beneficial to protecting the safety of individuals within enclosed spaces, they are not always required by the NYC Building Code.

When carbon monoxide detectors are necessary, they must comply with the installation requirements listed in the Code. CO detectors must be replaced once the manufacturer’s suggested lifetime has elapsed. Newly installed carbon monoxide detectors must emit an audible sound once this suggested lifetime has elapsed.