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Carbon Monoxide Requirements in California

What You Don’t Know about Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Make You Sick

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Introduction

Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas that is a by-product of combustion. Whenever we burn something, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is released. Many items in a home can produce CO. If you have gas burning appliances such as a range or oven, furnace, water heater or fireplace, you could be exposed to CO if the appliances aren’t properly installed or maintained. Even an attached garage can create a CO hazard because cars continue to emit CO after they are shut off.

Many States have enacted laws that require CO detectors in homes. These laws are long over-due. Now that CO detectors are cheap, every home should have one. In our opinion they are as important, if not more, than smoke detectors. Smoke can usually be seen, smelled, and even felt if it is warm. CO on the other hand is odorless, colorless, and can be a silent killer. You don’t need a huge house fire to have a CO hazard. It can come from some very small amounts of combustion.

Don’t Confuse CO with Bubbles

A common mistake is when people refer to Carbon Monoxide as CO2 which is Carbon Dioxide. CO2 is totally different and is not dangerous. (CO2 is the gas that is often blamed for global warming, but that is a different topic). Let’s stick to hazards in your home. CO2 is what makes carbonated drinks bubbly. CO on the other hand, can kill you.

How Does Carbon Monoxide Kill You?

Carbon Monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas. Detection in a home environment is nearly impossible by humans. The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flue. Nausea, vomiting, confusion, sore muscles, headache, dizziness, light headedness, loss of balance, etc.Blood Cell Often, people who experience these symptoms simply go to bed thinking they are coming down with a cold. Some never wake up.

According to the Center for Disease Control Red Blood Cells pick up CO more easily than Oxygen. If there is enough CO it can prevent the oxygen from getting into the body causing tissue damage or death.

Statistics

Surprisingly there are poor statistics for CO deaths in the Unites States. The CDC reports that and average of 439 people died annually between 1999 and 2004 from non-fire related CO poisoning. Many more people are hospitalized due to symptoms of CO exposure. During the heavy snow storms of 2013 on the east coast of the U.S. and Canada, a young boy died in their family car in the short time it took the father to dig the car out of the snow. Snow drifts blocked the exhaust pipe and CO entered the cabin of the vehicle. That’s how quickly CO can kill you.

Brief History

Some of the first practical CO detectors were developed by Bell Labs for the telephone workers who had to enter confined spaces such as man holes. They were typically made of paper and would turn brown or black when exposed to CO.

Battery powered CO detectors became available around 1993. These units were moderately expensive, and like any new device, people were in no hurry to buy one. As more states passed laws requiring the installation of CO detectors in homes the price has come down substantially. You can now get a CO detector starting under $20.

As of the time of this publication there were 19 states requiring Carbon Monoxide detectors in homes including Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Types of CO Detectors

There are two types of CO detectors commonly available:

Electromechanical

This is the dominant technology used in the United States. A sensor creates an electric charge which varies with the amount of CO present. They use little power, and operate at room temperature.

Biometric

These detectors have a sensor which changes color in the presence of CO. Just like blood, the sensor gets darker with higher concentrations of CO. An optical sensor reacts to the changing color. These detectors are very accurate and are used in higher-end facilities such as hospitals, where the cost of a false alarm can be high.

CO detectors are available with wireless vibrating pads, strobes, or other remote warning devices. These are used for people with hearing impairments, low vision, or other sensory impairment. Hotels are becoming more likely to provide these in their accessible rooms, or upon request.

Regulation Can Make You Sick

All Carbon Monoxide detectors must meet the requirements of Underwriters Laboratory Standard UL 2034. The UL Standard covers electrically operated single and multiple station carbon monoxide (CO) alarms intended for protection in ordinary indoor locations of dwelling units, including recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and recreational boats with enclosed accommodation spaces and cockpit areas.

The problem is that the Standard requires CO detectors to only sound under the following exposure levels:

CO Concentration Parts Per Million (PPM) Response Time (when alarm must sound)

70 +/- 5 PPM

60 – 240 minutes

150 +/- 5 PPM

10 – 50 minutes

400 +/- 10 PPM

4 – 10 minutes

A UL 2034 listed CO alarm is not allowed to sound for CO levels below 65 PPM. The UL considers this a false alarm and a nuisance. The CO alarm will only sound for concentrations of 65 – 145 PPM after 1 – 4 hours.

The Danger of Long Term Exposure

All UL 2034 CO detectors state that they protect “Young Healthy Adults”. What about everyone else? Young children, the elderly, those with blood or cardiovascular disease and fetus’ can be affected by long term exposure to low levels of Carbon Monoxide.

Low levels of CO can come from poorly vented stoves, furnaces or water heaters that only burn fuel for short periods of time. If CO is getting into the home, it may not exceed 65 PPM for a period of time long enough to sound the alarm. This can result in daily exposure to Carbon Monoxide which has been shown to cause Oxidative stress in the group listed above. A study performed by UCLA finds that exposure to even tiny amounts of CO can lead to many disorders.[1]

Installation Requirements

There is a lot of discussion, even argument, over the proper installation height of CO detectors. Should they be on the ceiling? Can they be plugged in as many CO detectors are sold with a plug? Is CO lighter or heavier than air? Etc.

We are often asked how many detectors are required, and in which rooms they should bemounting CO detector installed. According to the 2005 edition of the carbon monoxide guidelines published by the National Fire Protection Association, sections 5.1.1.1 and 5.1.1.2, all CO detectors “shall be centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms,” and each detector “shall be located on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified in the installation instructions that accompany the unit.”The fact is that CO has nearly the same specific gravity as air. Air has a specific gravity of 1 and CO has a specific gravity of just over .965. So the CO detectors can be mounted just about anywhere with a few exceptions. They should not be mounted on the wall within 6 inches of the ceiling. This “pocket” is considered dead air that does not circulate or mix well with the rest of the air in the house. They can be mounted on the ceiling.

Smoke Detector PlacementAccording to the 2009 edition of the IRC published by the International Code Council, “For new construction, an approved carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in dwelling units within which fuel-fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages”. New homes must have CO detectors installed consistent with Smoke Detectors.

You should follow the manufacturer’s installation recommendations as they have likely performed research to determine the best placement for their detector.

False Sense of Security

Some people believe that opening a window slightly will protect them from CO poisoning if, for example, they are using a kerosene heater or BBQ to heat their home. Since air and CO have essentially the same properties, the CO will not magically leave your home through an open window. You would need to exchange the air in your home with fresh air with the use of a fan. Blowing cold air in from the exterior would defeat the purpose of a heater.

If you lose electricity and need to heat your home, build a fire in the fireplace. Do not use a BBQ, Propane or kerosene heater, or generator inside your home for any period, or for any length of time. It is not safe to do so.

What Features To Look For

If you are concerned about low levels of Carbon Monoxide, be sure to check the ratings on any device you are buying. Low level CO detectors are available, but only UL listed detectors are available in retail stores. No matter what detector you buy, you may want to consider these features:

  • A display which shows the recent levels of CO
  • A 110 volt hard-wired or plug in detector with battery
  • A battery life indicator

Look for the life rating on the detector. All CO detectors have a life of 5-7 years after which they must be replaced. This is due to the life and sensitivity of the sensor. You should write the purchase date on your detector when you put it into service.

Prevention

The best way to deal with Carbon Monoxide is to avoid it in the first place.

  • Never use a Propane or Kerosene heater inside
  • Never use a generator in the house or in a garage
  • Have your gas burning appliance checked annually
  • Check furnace and clothes dryer flue for signs of damage or obstruction. Birds and squirrels are known for building nests, or hiding food in exhaust flues
  • Never run your car in the garage with the door closed – even for a few minutes
  • Replace your CO detector every 5-7 years

If you start feeling sick you should first move to fresh air and see if you feel better. Don’t just assume you are getting a cold or flu and go to bed. If you feel better outside, you may have been exposed to Carbon Monoxide in the home.

You should have your gas burning appliances checked annually by a company or utilityCarbon Monoxide Hazard that actually checks for CO levels. You can also visually look at your water heater and the flue (pictured above), furnace and clothes dryer flue for signs of damage or obstruction. Birds and squirrels are known for building nests or hiding food in exhaust flues. This can prevent proper drafting of exhaust gases and they can find their way into your home.

If you have young children, older parents, or someone with health issues living in your house, you should consider getting a “Low-Level” CO detector.

 


[1] UCLA Study Uncovers How Chronic Exposure to Tiny Levels of Carbon Monoxide Damages Hearing in Young Ears

 

 

SB 183 is an act to amend Sections 1102.6 and 1102.6d of the Civil Code, and to add Sections 17926, 17926.1, and 17926.2 to, and to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 13260) to Part 2 of Division 12 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to residential building safety.

The relevant part of the law is:

###

17926. (a) An owner of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy shall install a carbon monoxide device, approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to Section 13263, in each existing dwelling unit having a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage, within the earliest applicable time period as follows:

(1) For all existing single-family dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before July 1, 2011.

(2) For all other existing dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before January 1, 2013.

(b) With respect to the number and placement of carbon monoxide devices, an owner shall install the devices in a manner consistent with building standards applicable to new construction for the relevant type of occupancy or with the manufacturer’s instructions, if it is technically feasible to do so.

###

The bottom line is that ALL SINGLE FAMILY residential dwelling units as of July 1, 2011 must have a CO detector, even those that are not being sold. All other dwelling units (multi-family, dormitories, hotels, motels, etc) must have CO detectors installed by January 1, 2013.

Expect to see this new inspection item in your home inspection report. Home inspectors will be required to report on the presence or absence of a working Carbon Monoxide detector just like they report on Smoke Detectors, and water heater strapping.

Home Buyers and Sellers will also see this new requirement on Transfer Disclosure Statements. In addition to Smoke Alarms and strapped water heaters, sellers will be required to disclose the presence or absence of a working Carbon Monoxide detector starting July 1, 2011.

Details of SB 183

If you are interested in the full text of the bill, please click the following link:

Senate Bill SB 183

The San Diego Real Estate Inspection Company feels that Carbon Monoxide detectors are as important, or more, than a traditional smoke detector. We will will add this as an inspection item effective immediately. We want to get this information out to buyers and sellers. Most Carbon Monoxide detectors cost $50 or less.

Like us on FacebookTo keep up with this story and more, please “Like” us on Facebook today!’

 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 7:30 am and is filed under Health and Safety. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

64 Responses to “Carbon Monoxide Requirements in California”

  1. A friend of mine’s carbon monoxide tester keeps beeping for no reason, what should she do? | Siberia Mining Says:

    July 17th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    [...] New Law Regarding Carbon Monoxide Detectors | Home Inspector San … [...]

  2. agentnewswire.com Says:

    November 7th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    New California Law Regarding Carbon Monoxide Detectors…

    California Home Inspectors will start checking for CO detectors after passage of new Disclosure Laws. California Senate Bill 183 was signed into law which requires the installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors in rental units, and dwellings that are be…

  3. Ewan Sheriff Says:

    November 26th, 2010 at 12:27 am

    How the commercial and residential properties are treated differently by the real estate law.

  4. pheller Says:

    November 26th, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Since people don’t typically sleep in commercial properties, they have not yet required Carbon Monoxide Detectors to be installed there. The danger is mostly associated where people sleep.

  5. Ken Chastain Says:

    December 9th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    This bill requires that a carbon monoxide device be installed in existing dwellings intended for human occupancy that have a fossil fuel burning appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. So why are they required in rental if the rental unit has none of the above.

  6. pheller Says:

    December 9th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Ken,

    They are only required in dwellings that have an attached garage or gas burning appliances. The requirement to install them kicks in on January 1, 2011 for houses being sold (with garage or gas appliances) or rentals (with garage or gas appliances), even if the rentals are not being sold.

    It will be required in all dwellings with a garage or gas appliances (including those that are not for sale) starting in 2013.

  7. s. Peroff Says:

    January 11th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Does the law specify where the detectors are to be installed, how many, and are combination smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors allowed.
    thank you

  8. pheller Says:

    January 15th, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Unfortunately the law does not specify installation requirements. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Ideally you would install a CO detector near the furnace, and in each sleeping room.

  9. Tony Says:

    January 19th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    How do we know which ones are approved by the state.

  10. pheller Says:

    March 8th, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Not exactly. No one cares if you put one in your own house. Just like smoke detectors. You won’t be fined if you don’t have one.
    It is required as a safety device when you rent a house to someone, and when houses are transfered to a new owner.
    You also have a choice whether or not you want to take on the responsibility of owning a house/rental property or not.

  11. Palvin Says:

    May 14th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    So, who is going to come to my house and check to see if I have a work CO detector installed in the dwelling that I own and occupy? What ever happened to private property rights?

  12. 49erDan Says:

    May 14th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I purchased a CO2 detector, the laws of physics show that CO2 is heaver than atmospheric air. So someone tell me why they recommend that the detector be installed high on a wall (not within 4″ from ceiling) instead of near the floor where CO2 hangs out?

  13. pheller Says:

    May 26th, 2011 at 4:49 am

    One small correction. It is CO, not CO2. And you are correct. I would buy the plug in units or mount them lower on the wall. I think that the manufacturers believe that when a forced air unit is on, the CO will be detected anywhere. However many people get poisoned because they use a heating source such as a BBQ or fireplace.

  14. pheller Says:

    May 26th, 2011 at 4:51 am

    No one. No one cares if you poison yourself. They are trying to get them into houses when they transfer ownership just like smoke detectors.

  15. Damon Salinas Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 8:50 am

    LOL @ “no one cares if you poison yourself”!! Im a property manager, I have heard a few different conflicting statements about what kind of CO detector is required. Does it have to be one with a battery back up AND wired? What if the house is not wired for it…?

  16. pheller Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 10:38 am

    It is my understanding that rental properties require hard-wired detectors.

  17. GettingBy Says:

    June 3rd, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t think existing construction requires hard-wired devices. New construction, yes. Just like smoke detectors.

  18. Cap Says:

    June 8th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Most people can see where this will go. My bet is that no two FD’s will require the same install
    requirements unless the State Fire Marshall already has published one. Think about it, CO is colorless, odorless and heavier than air and will settle in all low areas. Basements and multi-story homes may, by definition, require/need more units than a one story single family dwelling. In addition to bedroom locations, gas appliances are the primary targets of this legislation. Ignorance of other sources, since most are portable, will still get people….and their children, killed. Let’s educate in the schools as we regulate.

  19. Time to get a Carbon Monoxide Detector – new California law | Your trusted resource for Marin County real estate and community information | Your trusted resource for Marin County real estate and community information Says:

    June 9th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    [...] is a new law regarding carbon monoxide poisoning:  The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010  requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in each “dwelling unit intended for human [...]

  20. pheller Says:

    June 10th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    CO detectors installed in rentals are supposed to be hard-wired.

  21. Joe Says:

    June 14th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Battery or hard wired? Either one is fine. Here is what the SB 183 itself says:

    “13262. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
    (a) “Carbon monoxide device” means a device that meets all of the
    following requirements:
    (1) A device designed to detect carbon monoxide and produce a distinct,
    audible alarm.
    (2) A device that is battery powered, a plug-in device with battery backup,
    or a device installed as recommended by Standard 720 of the National Fire
    Protection Association that is either wired into the alternating current power
    line of the dwelling unit with a secondary battery backup or connected to a
    system via a panel.”

    ftp://leginfo.public.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0151-0200/sb_183_bill_20100507_chaptered.pdf

  22. Hil Says:

    June 16th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I manage a mixed-use (commercial/residential) building with underground parking, gas appliances in all, etc. Does the Carbon Monoxide Detector have to be in stalled in the parking garage, if so, how many? Also,

  23. pheller Says:

    June 19th, 2011 at 6:15 am

    No, the CO detector needs to be installed in the living space near the sleeping rooms. That is where the poisoning hazard is the greatest.

  24. K Says:

    June 21st, 2011 at 6:33 am

    How many people died in california last year from CO2 poisoning? Is this yet another thing to allow self justification for bigger government?

  25. K Says:

    June 21st, 2011 at 6:47 am

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1304855/
    27to 58 people per year over a 10 year period. 31% of those alcohol was involved. A high percentage a motovehicle, hibachi or camping stove / tent was involved. Who is profiting from this law? Politicians, regulators and the industry making these devices. Is there no limit to what they can impose on the masses?

  26. KennyC Says:

    June 23rd, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Some statements in this article conflict with what I see in the SB 183 and the Cal Fire news release. The references below state that CO detectors are required in *ALL* single family home July 1, 2011, whether being sold or not.

    From http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0151-0200/sb_183_bill_20100507_chaptered.pdf

    “[...]in each existing dwelling unit having a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage, within the earliest applicable time period as follows:
    (1) For all existing single-family dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before July 1, 2011.
    (2) For all other existing dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before January 1, 2013.

    From http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/newsreleases/2011/CarbonMonoxideDetectors.pdf

    Though previous laws only required newly-constructed homes to have CO alarms, the state’s new Carbon
    Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill 183) requires owners of all existing single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install CO alarm devices within the home by July 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law.

    Please correct the misleading information in your site.

  27. Mary Says:

    June 24th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    How about those auto mechanic body shops chop shops oil stops tire and brakes shop…. I’ve been in them in the winter when they’re all closed up tighter than a nunsbuns with the car exhaust roaring and the propane shop heaters ablazin’ …..

  28. Greg Cook Says:

    June 28th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    As a lender I can see this having a significant impact on getting homes sold short term. I spoke with an appraiser who said that even though HUD hasn’t issued a Mortgagee Letter on the topic, it’s his opinion it will have to be addressed on all appraisals after July 1.
    I wonder how long it will take the real estate community to get their brains around it. The only sellers are banks, who will now have an additional expense and we know how happy that makes them
    and short sale sellers,most who have mentally checked out and won’t be willing to make the investment.
    It would be great if you could provide the code so the video could be shared.
    Thanks

  29. George Stebbins Says:

    June 28th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Previous poster was mistaken: Carbon Monoxide is lighter than air, not heavier.

    C=12
    O=16

    O2 (Oxygen) = 16*2
    N2 (Nitrogen) = 14*2

    So, Carbon Monoxide is slightly lighter than Oxygen, and the same as Nitrogen. Thus it is lighter than air.

  30. George Stebbins Says:

    June 28th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    In case that wasn’t clear, CO has a molecular weight of 12+16=28. Oxygen has a molecular weight of 16*2 = 32. Nitrogen has a molecular weight of 14*2 = 28.

    CO = 28
    O2 = 32
    N2 = 28

  31. Sean Erickson Says:

    June 30th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    So I guess the idiots in Sacramento forgot that there is a Constitution that protects its citizens from illegal unwarrented search and seizure of property. You mean to tell me that someone working for the State is going to come to my house and demand I let the in to check to see if I have a CO dector? What if I refuse to let them in? Did anyone think about that? The Constitution protects us from an intrusive Government. Or are you simply going to follow blindly like sheep?

  32. Santa Barbara Real Estate News: New Carbon Monoxide Laws | Says:

    July 1st, 2011 at 9:47 am

    [...] WILL affect the Transfer Disclosure Statements (TD forms), so please read The San Diego Real Estate Inspection Company’s article regarding California’s new home inspection procedures. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. [...]

  33. Jim Says:

    July 1st, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Does duplex house require to install CO detectors by 7/1/2011? My landlord said this deadline is for single-families only, not applied to duplex, so he would not install it by that time.

  34. Bill S Says:

    July 2nd, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Wait a minute! 400 deaths a year! Nationally! And the number quoted in California is 30 to 40 deaths a year.

    What special interest group pushed this garbage through the legislature?

    Let’s see, there are approximately 35 million people in California; average 4 people per household; say 60% live in single-family homes. That is over 5.25 million homes. Say one-third of those are two-story requiring one sensor per floor — that is 7 million detectors. At an average cost of $35 per detector, that is $245 million.

    I can think of no other cause of death that has a lower yearly mortality rate than carbon monoxide poisoning. Yet in these hard economic times, the legislature is going to force Californians to shell out $245 million to save 30 to 40 lives per year. Moreover, that does not even count dorms, condos, and all the rest that were given a reprieve. Wonder how many of those deaths occur in dorms, condos and all those other non-single family dwellings?

    No wonder this State is broke as the legislature wastes huge amounts of our money to benefit the least number of people! Pardon me, but I have to call my broker and tell him to invest heavily in companies making carbon monoxide detectors.

  35. Mike Says:

    July 5th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Let me clear up a few misconceptions here. First we are “talking” about Carbon Monoxide CO and not Carbon Dioxide CO2. Carbon Monoxide is highly poisonous like cyanide (HCN, K+CN-, Na+CN-), odorless, colorless but less dense (lighter) than air, 1.145 @ 25oC. CO is the product of incomplete combustion. Carbon Dioxide is odorless, colorless and rather heavier than air, 1.977 @ 0oC. Air has a density of 1.184 @ 25oC. Carbion dioxide is what animals breathe out. It is also what plants take in and use photosynthesis for to make sugar. So CO would tend to be present near the ceiling, CO2 on the floor. But these are gases so they do eventually diffuse and mix with air to become “even” throughout a building or vehicle.

  36. Ron B Says:

    July 7th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Clearly Californian Senators need to get their priorities straight; the main business of the Senate should be preparing a balanced budget and passing legislation that will reduce the size and impact of our government. The review and elimination of State agencies and commissions as well as the reduction of civil codes should then be your next concern.

    One might wonder if the senators have any financial interests in the companies that produce CO2 detectors. We should be free to decide what we have in our private residences!

  37. RitaW Says:

    July 10th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Lets see… There are aprox 37,000,000 people in Calif. If 30-40 die or get sick each year from Carbon Mono, then its calculated at aprox .00001% of the population get sick or die each year from Carbon Monoxide. Hmmm we had better ask our selves who is getting the money for these damn things! Perhaps we should throw these things into the harbour…

  38. Mel Bailey Says:

    July 14th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Where shall it be installed? On the ceiling in the hallway? In the kitchen? Near the gas appliance?

  39. pheller Says:

    July 17th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Duplexes are considered single family residences. This law applies to all rentals, and all single family dwellings up to four attached units.

  40. How to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector | Your trusted resource for Marin County real estate and community information | Your trusted resource for Marin County real estate and community information Says:

    July 28th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    [...] you know there is  a new law regarding carbon monoxide poisoning in California:  The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010  requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in each “dwelling unit intended for human [...]

  41. pheller Says:

    July 30th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Near the sleeping areas so that it can wake you up. Read the manufacturer’s instructions.

  42. diane Says:

    August 20th, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I live in an older apt building we have smoke alarms are they also legally bound to install CO detectors?

  43. Rob Says:

    August 23rd, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I personally think that this is a great idea to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in the dwellings.

  44. Jarhead Says:

    August 25th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Here’s the way it works, people: The manufacturers of carbon monoxide detectors see that they can make millions and millions of dollars if a law were to be passed requiring every home owner in the state (and other states for that matter) to purchase a CO detector. The manufacturers get their lobbyists to grease the palms of our corrupt politicians, and explain that the state will also benefit by the millions of dollars in revenue from the sales tax. Before you know it, a law is passed. Samething with hands-free devices for our cell phones. Sometimes the reverse happens. The politicians see an opportunity to get pay-offs, so they contact the lobbyist of the manufacturers to propose their idea and arrange the bribes. That’s why lobbyist must be registered with the state – so the politicians can identify them and the industry they represent.

  45. Oldduffer Says:

    August 29th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    All I want to know is how many are required in single family residences and where are they supposed to be installed relative to the various rooms and levels of the house. If I want to complain, I have the phone number of my legislator.

  46. Charles Laughlin Says:

    September 7th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    The law states that a title transfer for a property is not dependent on the installation of a CO moniter as is required for a water heaters and smoke detectors…. yet says there can be damages up to $100 plus court and attorney costs for no CO detector… Does this mean that a seller can sell and home and transfer title but can later get sued for the lack of a CO detector.

  47. pheller Says:

    September 18th, 2011 at 9:21 am

    The number of detectors is not specifically defined in the bill. To comply at the bare minimum, at least one should go in the hallway outside of each cluster of bedrooms. If all bedrooms are connected to one hallway, then isntall one. If the rooms are on separate ends of the house, or on different levels, then one per level is needed. For maximum safety, install one in each sleeping room in addition to the minimum. All detectors have manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging. Please check this and apply toyour particular situation.

  48. Randall Austin Says:

    September 19th, 2011 at 10:47 am

    If I do not have a Carbon Monoxide Detector in my house and the real estate company has not put on in are they break the contract that we have with them. If they are can you please give me the law and section that it is.

  49. pheller Says:

    September 29th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    It is the home owner’s responsibility to install a CO detector. If you are the seller, you need to pay for it and install it. And no, you cannot sue or break the contract with your agent because they didn’t install one. They ‘should’ advise you to install one if you are the seller, but it is not their responsibility to do so. It is the home owner’s responsibility.

  50. Roxanne Says:

    October 14th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I received my notice in the mail today. I already installed one upstairs and one in my attached apartment downstairs. They cost between $20-$35.00. My beef is that the law was passed May 2010, detectors must be in all homes by July 2011 and they wait until Friday, Oct. 14 to send out notices to frighten seniors, the disabled and all the rest of the population of California to comply by Oct. 31 or you will be fined. Oh, they do want to help. Just send them $76.00!!!!!! and they will send you one detector. So this is how they will balance the budget. Make a profit of $40.00 on every detector they force feed to a frightened public. Well, they got this letter too.

  51. Robert Says:

    December 23rd, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Let me play devils advocate… The amount of deaths and poisoning stats are only the ones that are reported.Lots of elderly deaths that are unexplained are more likely CO, but are chalked up to old age.On the other hand, if you are going to buy a CO monitor be careful. Regular monitors allow 70 parts per million for up to 4hours before they alarm. if you read the manual they also state that they are not sufficient to protect infant children or elderly. In my opinion the law is a half ass attept to save anyone,it requires a safety device, but the device itself is insufficient.

  52. pheller Says:

    January 17th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Yes.

  53. Brian Says:

    January 19th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I can’t find the answer to this question anywhere in SB 183…We manage multi-family housing that does not have any fuel burning devices within the dwelling units themselves or any attached garages. We do however have fireplaces in the lobbies of the buildings and gas hot water heaters on the 3rd floor of each building in a rated equipment room. Do we have to install CO detectors inside of each dwelling unit? The senate bill and new building codes are not clear on this.

  54. Kevin Says:

    February 21st, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I am remodeling right now and installing hardwired alarms. My 3 bedrooms are only five feet apart. If I use a combo smoke/CO alarm in each bedroom and one in the living room, do I still need to put one right outside the three bedrooms?

    Thanks

  55. pheller Says:

    February 27th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    The law calls for one in the hallway by each cluster of bedrooms. To be safe, one should be installed in each sleeping room.

  56. pheller Says:

    March 8th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Yes, smoke alarms are required outside of the bedrooms as well. The theory is that if your bedroom door is closed, too much time may elapse before smoke actually enters your room. The rest of the house may be burning.

  57. phobbick Says:

    March 29th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I just read the article. We are renters in a single family residence and we don’t have a CO alarm in this house. We have been here since Nov 2009. The landlord never notified us that we need to get one.

  58. pheller Says:

    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:51 am

    The landlord is responsible for providing it.

  59. Michael Silverm Says:

    May 24th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    What if you have a multi-family building. The apartment units do not have any gas-fired appliances. However, there are four water heater rooms in the building with two gas-fired water heaters in each room. The water heater rooms are off the corridors that serve the residential units. No breezeways, corridors. Is it required for all units to have carbon monoxide detectors, even though there are no gas-fired appliances in the units? I’m an Engineer, and as a life safety concern, I would just recommend putting the CO detectors in the water heater rooms. What does the code require for this situation?

  60. lionard.com Says:

    October 8th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Hire your own professionals when purchasing a house.

    You might be tempted to make use of the team supplied by the seller, particularly since there is
    generally zero cost to you. Like that, you can get these services for free, as opposed to being forced to pay for them.
    Nonetheless, you can benefit greatly from hiring your own professionals that are trustworthy and
    will be doing work for your best interests. Knowing that you might
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    pay for itself sooner or later.

  61. Richard Says:

    February 12th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    All of this is Hog wash the homes and apartments that have wall heater are the only one the need them do to the fact that they have a opening that draws air from the inside of the home or apartmentment to mix with combustion air and travels out the flue so if the is a malfuntion with the heater the co gas is release into the home or apartment or if it has a cracked heat exchanger If the owners of rental units would replace old heater,then this would have a much lesser chance of happening.I replace my force air furnace with a 90% efficency and it has more safety on it and is UL and National gas certified, so who is watching the hen house Not our goverment,They are Mommies and Daddies just like burning wood. makiming sure all our car are parked the same way around our neighbor hoods, Lets get things streight the new furances of today are way safer than wall heaters and to make a law like this is stupid not called for. I lived in my house for over 35 years and I never had a problem with co gas, Mommy and daddy just want us to spend money on something dumb to fill there pockets,We have the dumbest law makers amd fire chiefs around where is this going to stop. We have no rights in our own homes any more. Make the land lords replace the oid heater and wall furnaces and you will not see any more deaths from co gas unless someone does something stupid

  62. pheller Says:

    March 7th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Yes, if there are attached garages you need to have a CO detector in the units.

  63. pheller Says:

    March 7th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    CO poisoning happens more than you think, and it is not just from wall units. Here is a link to an article in my hometown where squirrels had stored acorns in the furnace exhaust flue and resulted in three people going to the hospital. http://ramona.patch.com/articles/three-ramonans-hospitalized-for-carbon-monoxide-posioning#photo-12497125

    It illustrates that even if you have perfectly good heating equipment, something can happen that makes it dangerous.

    CO can come from gas water heaters that are vented poorly, or furnaces that do not have adequate combustion air supply. They can draw air through the flue which causes the exhaust to enter the living space.

    The worst is when someone uses a BBQ to heat their living space. Here is another story about a local arborist who died while camping because he did just that http://ramona.patch.com/articles/local-arborist-dies-in-trailer-after-camping-in-imperial-county

    Finally, the point of the article is that some people who are not healthy can be affected by low levels of CO. You would be surprised how much CO is released when you first start a gas oven. If you have cardiovascular disease, this can make you sick.

    In the end it is your choice about installing any safety devices in your home. You are fortunate that you can afford new heating equipment.

  64. Joe Blow Says:

    June 4th, 2013 at 11:56 am

    To those who were asking who is going to come and inspect if you installed these b^*lshit detectors, it clearly states that any repair over a $1000 will require a permit, and a permit comes with a inspector who will want to see these damn things placed in the home. Just had a 20 foot section of water line replaced, and the inspector came and to see the job and ends by asking about CO detectors.

    Im trying to find out if i can just use one in the main hallway, by all the sleeping rooms or if there have to be more inside each room. single family, single story home, NO Natural Gas, but attached garage. there is no clear answer to where i need to install this thing, or if i need two or more. any help would be greatly appreciated.