Bill S4029-2011

Requires warning labels on fireplace glass panels advising consumers of the grave risk of burns when the fireplace is operating

Requires warning labels on fireplace glass panels advising consumers of the grave risk of burns when the fireplace is operating.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Mar 14, 2011: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4029

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring warning labels on fireplaces and fireplace enclosures that have glass viewing panels

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would require fireplace manufacturers to affix a bright orange warning label to the glass panel of all glass-paneled factory manufactured fireplaces. This label would alert consumers to the grave risk of burns that could result from touching the glass viewing pane while the fireplace is in operation. Removal of the label by anyone other than the owner of a dwelling where the fireplace is installed would result in a civil penalty.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation would add a new subdivision 17 to Section 378 of the executive law to read as follows:

17. Standards for factory manufactured fireplaces and fireplace enclosures which have glass viewing panels requiring that every such fireplace and enclosure, sold or installed after the effective date of this subdivision, shall have affixed to the glass panels thereof, a conspicuous orange warning label advising the consumer of the grave risk of serious burns posed by touching such glass panels when a fireplace is operating. No such warning label shall be removed from the glass of a fireplace or fireplace enclosure by any person; provided, however, that when such a fireplace or fireplace enclosure is installed in ,an owner occupied dwelling, such warning may be removed by the owner who occupies such dwelling. Any person who violates the standards established pursuant to this subdivision shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars.

JUSTIFICATION: While the dangers of an open flame are well known, many people do not harbor the same concerns with respect to the glass that encloses gas fireplaces. While in operation, glass panels or enclosures of gas fireplaces reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees. The 500-degree limit was voluntarily imposed by the fireplace industry to prevent the glass from cracking under extreme heat and not with consumer safety in mind. The temperature of the glass is so extreme that when touched, skin is likely to melt and stick to the glass, causing devastating injuries. What is especially unfortunate is that many of the accidents involving superheated glass affect children, who are drawn to the fire but likely view the glass as a safe barrier from the flame. Since 1999, over 2,000 children under the age of 6 have suffered burns from glass fireplace enclosures. Under current law, there is no requirement or mandate to warn

consumers of the danger posed by superheated glass panels on gas fireplaces. Voluntary standards adopted by the industry itself are the only protection currently in place and they fail to adequately address the safety of the consumer. Existing warnings are placed in obscurity, near the pilot light or in the manual, and are usually overlooked by the consumer. Absent adequate self-imposed regulations by the industry, protecting consumers against these tragic incidents falls on the legislature. This legislation would add a requirement that would mandate factory fireplace manufacturers to warn the consumers of this grave danger in a way that would legitimately ensure that the consumer sees the warning and is on notice of the possible resulting harms.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, that any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be promulgated, amended and/or repealed on or before such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4029 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 14, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. ZELDIN, GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring warning labels on fireplaces and fireplace enclosures that have glass viewing panels THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 378 of the executive law is amended by adding a new subdivision 17 to read as follows: 17. STANDARDS FOR FACTORY MANUFACTURED FIREPLACES AND FIREPLACE ENCLO- SURES WHICH HAVE GLASS VIEWING PANELS REQUIRING THAT EVERY SUCH FIRE- PLACE AND ENCLOSURE, SOLD OR INSTALLED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SHALL HAVE AFFIXED TO THE GLASS PANELS THEREOF, A CONSPICU- OUS ORANGE WARNING LABEL ADVISING THE CONSUMER OF THE GRAVE RISK OF SERIOUS BURNS POSED BY TOUCHING SUCH GLASS PANELS WHEN A FIREPLACE IS OPERATING. NO SUCH WARNING LABEL SHALL BE REMOVED FROM THE GLASS OF A FIREPLACE OR FIREPLACE ENCLOSURE BY ANY PERSON; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHEN SUCH A FIREPLACE OR FIREPLACE ENCLOSURE IS INSTALLED IN AN OWNER OCCUPIED DWELLING, SUCH WARNING MAY BE REMOVED BY THE OWNER WHO OCCUPIES SUCH DWELLING. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE STANDARDS ESTABLISHED PURSU- ANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE LIABLE FOR A CIVIL PENALTY NOT TO EXCEED TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, that any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be promulgated, amended and/or repealed on or before such date.

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