Gov. Hochul Signs Legislation to Improve Safety Standards for Electric Space Heaters

Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday signed legislation to require electric space heaters to have thermostats, automatic shut-offs, and be certified by a testing and certification body recognized and approved by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This measure comes less than a year after the tragic fire in the Twin Parks apartments claimed 19 lives. The bill is intended to prevent any more senseless deaths and injuries as New Yorkers heat their homes this winter. 

“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.”  

Legislation amends the general business law to prohibit any retailer of electric space heaters from selling them in New York State without a thermostat, automatic shut off, and certification by a testing and certification body recognized and approved the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

State Senator Cordell Cleare said, “The ‘Safe Space Heaters Act’ was the very first bill I introduced and I commend Governor Hochul for signing it, as it is specifically designed to prevent fires, save lives and make residences safer during heating season.  New Yorkers deserve the highest safety standards in the nation and today we take action to meaningfully remember those we have lost in the past and resolve to end preventable fires now and forevermore.”

Assemblymember Kenny Burgos said, “Almost a year ago, a devastating high-rise fire tore through the Twin Parks apartments in the Bronx. 17 people were killed, making it the deadliest New York fire in over 30 years. When it was determined that the cause was a faulty space heater, we knew taking action was an absolute must. Today, I am thankful that Governor Hochul has signed our life-saving bill, ‘the Safe Space Heaters Act.’ The new safety measures on electric space heaters will keep New Yorkers safe in their homes as we enter these cold winter months. I also thank Senator Cleare for being a great partner in pushing this legislation and look forward to seeing this new law take effect.”

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