Roommates + Landlords

Most NYC residential buildings must install natural gas detectors by 2025

  • Rental apartments, condos, co-ops, and hotels need to have natural gas detectors installed by May 2025
  • The rule stems from City Council legislation that followed a series of high profile NYC gas explosions
Celia Young Headshot
By Celia Young  |
February 26, 2024 - 10:40AM
Exterior view of old New York City style architecture apartment building with windows and fire escapes

The DOB expects its gas detector rule to impact 90 percent of residential buildings in NYC.


Most New York City buildings will need to install natural gas detectors by May 1st 2025, under finalized rules from the NYC Department of Buildings.

The DOB published rules earlier this month requiring the owners of residential buildings with three or more units to install natural gas detectors in apartments. And the new requirement, which applies to apartments, condos, co-ops, and class B buildings like hotels, has been a long time coming.

NYC’s history with gas explosions

The New York City Council required the DOB to create gas detector rules in 2016 through Local Law 157, which followed two high-profile gas explosions in Manhattan. A 2014 blast destroyed two buildings in East Harlem, injuring 50, and an explosion at an East Village restaurant a year later killed two people and resulted in a prison sentence for the landlord. 

Local Law 157 instructed DOB to create the requirement once a national standard for gas detectors was developed, but that didn’t happen until 2022, says Andrew Rudansky, a spokesperson for the DOB. Once the National Fire Protection Association published its guidance two years ago, the DOB kicked off its rule making process. 

“Small, easy to procure natural gas detectors can make a big difference in protecting New Yorkers from the potential dangers of a gas leak,” Rudansky said in a statement. “This law was passed by the City Council after a series of devastating natural gas explosions in Manhattan, which underscored the critical importance of gas safety in our City.”

What owners need to know

The DOB expects the rule to cover nearly 90 percent of buildings in the city, Rudansky says.

Owners can install battery-powered detectors or those that plug into an outlet, as long as the detectors adhere to the National Fire Protection Association’s standard. The detectors must be kept in working order and installed in individual apartment units, with limited exceptions.

Buildings that do not use any natural gas are exempt from the requirement. And if an owner lives in a one or two-family home and rents out part of their home, they don’t have to install a natural gas detector in the space they live in. However, owners must install gas detectors in the rental unit, Rudansky says.

Celia Young Headshot

Celia Young

Senior Writer

Celia Young is a senior writer at Brick Underground where she covers New York City residential real estate. She graduated from Brandeis University and previously covered local business at the Milwaukee Business Journal, entertainment at Madison Magazine, and commercial real estate at Commercial Observer. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

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