Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal’s Bill to Require Installation of Radiator Covers in Apartments with Children Passes New York State Assembly

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today announced that the New York State Assembly passed her bill (A.749) to require landlords to install radiator covers at the request of a tenant residing with a child aged twelve or younger.

“This bill will save lives and prevent injury,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal. “Many apartments in New York, including my own, contain exposed radiators, so I am well aware of just how hot they can become. Installing a radiator cover is a relatively simple and cheap step a landlord can take to protect small children against burns and other, more severe injuries.”

Several weeks ago, an Albany infant died after she rolled off a bed in her grandmother’s home in Manhattan and became wedged between the bed and the scorchingly hot radiator that had no cover. Assemblymember Rosenthal introduced the bill after a similar incident some years ago in which a young child sustained serious injuries after being burned by an exposed radiator. The child’s family was prevented from recovering any damages for the injury because the law, as it existed at the time, did not impose a duty on landlords or building owners to install such radiator covers.

“Creating a limited, very narrowly tailored duty, as we have done in this case, protects the interests of tenants who are concerned with the safety of their children as well as the interests of the landlord to keep costs down and avoid litigation,” said Rosenthal. “The bill strikes a good balance and protects everyone’s best interests; I look forward to its becoming law.”

Senator Neil D. Breslin (D/IP/WF-Albany) has agreed to carry the bill in the New York State Senate.

The landlord has 90 days from receipt of a request to install the radiator cover. If he fails to do so the tenant may install a cover and deduct the cost from the rent. New York City law requires landlords of multiple dwellings to provide, install and maintain window guards in apartments with children under 10 years old.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) represents the 67th Assembly district which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.