California’s Carbon Monoxide Detector Law

Beginning on Friday, July 1, 2011 all single-family homes in California with a fireplace, gas- or oil-burning appliance, or attached garage will be required to have carbon monoxide alarms/detectors installed.

Senate Bill 183 aims to reduce the amount of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning. It is estimated that up to 30-40 Californians die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year.

The detectors are the best way to protect families from carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a colorless, odorless gas. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistakenly diagnosed as the flu.

It is estimated that nearly 90% of homes in California do not have these detectors. While CO detectors can alert home occupants of a carbon monoxide leak, home owners should make sure that appliances that emit carbon monoxide, such as such as gas burning furnaces, stoves and water heaters, are working properly.

California is also making CO detectors a requirement for those applying for building and remodeling permits, as well as homes and properties involved in new rental or sales agreements.

Homeowners who fail to install the devices by July 1 can receive a maximum fine of $200 for each offense. The carbon-monoxide detectors/alarms must carry the state fire marshal’s seal of approval. A similar law will go into effect for condominiums and town homes in 2013.

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