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The leader of an organization representing New York firefighters on Tuesday applauded a new state law requiring smoke alarms with nonremovable batteries that last at least 10 years.

Robert McConville, a Selden Fire District commissioner and president of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, said the law will help prevent deaths caused by fire. The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan (R-East Northport), was signed into law Monday night by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

“Today the governor took a big step towards protecting the lives of New Yorkers and the firefighters tasked with protecting them,” McConville said in a statement released by the firefighters group. “We’ve seen time and again that working smoke alarms can be the difference between life and death. This law will no doubt go a long way towards ensuring New York is a safer place.”

The law, which takes effect in 2017, will ban the sale of smoke alarms using batteries that can be replaced. The law will require that alarms have sealed-in batteries that last a minimum of 10 years.

Advocates of the new law say many homeowners fail to install smoke alarms or neglect to replace smoke alarm batteries on a regular basis, leaving residents and firefighters vulnerable to deadly fires.



Long Island farmers are scheduled to hold their annual trade conference on Jan. 14 and 15 in Riverhead.

The 2016 Long Island Agricultural Forum is to feature discussions by federal, state and county officials about trends in farming, agricultural policy, business financing and pest control, according to a schedule of events. Most of the forum is to take place at Suffolk County Community College’s eastern campus in Riverhead.

Among the topics this year are declining honeybee populations, federal labor laws affecting farm workers, and compliance with the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, the federal government’s most sweeping overhaul of food safety regulations since 1938. On Nov. 13, the Food and Drug Administration released new rules under the law affecting produce farmers.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is scheduled to kick off the conference with a speech at 9 a.m. Jan. 14. The 35th annual forum dinner is to begin at 5:30 p.m. that day at the Polish Hall in Riverhead.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County has a full schedule of events and contact information for registration on its website,



A Bellport advisory committee formed to review whether a failed proposal to regulate bed-and-breakfasts in the village should be re-enacted will present its findings at an informational meeting on Jan. 16.

All village residents have been invited to attend, and will be allowed to comment and make suggestions.

The meeting will be at the Bellport Community Center at 4 Bell St. at 10 a.m., village officials said.

Trustees voted to create a bed-and-breakfast law in July to set guidelines on such businesses. But the village did not file the new law with Department of State in Albany for approval, as required by state law and the local law died after 30 days.

Village officials said the trustees received a lot of concern from residents after the code’s adoption, forcing board members to reconsider the law.

The original code required bed-and-breakfasts to limit paying guests to four at a time. It also called for parking for every occupant, and the business would have had to operate for at least three months out of the year.

If such a law is passed, homeowners would have six to eight months to comply.


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