UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to require electric space heaters to have thermostats, and 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 almost a year after the tragic fire in the Twin Parks apartments claimed 19 lives. Hochul said the bill is intended to prevent any more senseless deaths and injuries as New Yorkers heat their homes this winter.  Space heaters that fail to pass muster under the new law could be banned from being sold at retailers throughout the state.

On Jan. 9, a malfunctioning electric space heater set fire to a home in the 19-story high Twin Parks North West apartment complex in the Bronx, killing 17 people, eight of whom were children.

Most of the victims were killed by the smoke produced by the fire, which quickly spread through the building via two self-closing doors which failed to shut.

As the weather gets colder and we turn on the heat in our homes, this legislation is good news for New York residents to prevent future disasters.