Finch: Providing Tax Credit For Smoke Detectors Will Make Homes Safer, Save Lives

June 5, 2012

Assemblyman Gary D. Finch has introduced legislation, Assembly Bill A-10340, named “Averyana’s Law”, that will provide a tax credit for the installation of a photoelectric smoke detector equal to the cost of purchasing and installing the smoke detector.

“It is imperative that homes are equipped with adequate fire detection equipment,” said Finch. “Tragedies such as the loss of Averyana and her godmother could be averted if the proper precautions are taken. It is my hope that this tax credit will provide a strong impetus for families and homeowners to equip their homes with photoelectric smoke detectors.”

On March 11, 2012, two-year-old Averyana Dale and her godmother, Rachel Harris-Curione, tragically lost their lives due to smoke inhalation in a fire in Auburn, NY. It was later determined that the fire was a smoldering fire, which produces a significant amount of smoke but very little flame.

Currently, there are two types of smoke detectors available in the market place, ionization and photoelectric. Ionization detectors are present in about 95% of homes. Unfortunately, these types of detectors have a high rate of failure when detecting smoldering fires. Photoelectric detectors, on the other hand, are extremely successful at detecting smoldering fires.

Averyana and her godmother most likely lost their lives because the ionization smoke detector that was present in the home did not alert them to the fire until it was too late. If a photoelectric detector had been in the home, it is considerably more likely they would have been alerted to the smoke sooner and would have made it out safely.