Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
If you haven’t heard, California homeowners will soon be required to
install carbon monoxide detectors. The law goes into effect starting in
July 2011. There’s been a lot of misinformation swirling around about
the new carbon monoxide law . To help clear up some of the confusion,
here is what you need to know about the new carbon monoxide detector law
In this posting, you’ll also find important information about sources
of carbon monoxide poisoning as w ell as w hat to do in the event of a
carbon monoxide leak.
Who It Impacts: All existing single-family
homeowners that have fossil-fuel burning appliances, fireplaces and/or
What The Law Requires: A carbon monoxide
detector must be installed in these homes.
How Much Does A Detector Cost: Carbon
monoxide detectors cost anyw here from $10-$50.
How Is The Law Enforced: People requesting
homeowner loans will have to show that they have installed carbon
monoxide detectors in their homes.
What About Apartments: The law will require
all other types of residential units other than single-family homes to
have carbon monoxide detectors by Jan. 1, 2013. The owner of the rental
unit will be responsible for installing the detectors.
Fines: You will get a warning to install a
carbon monoxide detector within 30 days of notice. If you fail to do so,
fines will be up to $200.
The law goes into effect for all single-family homeowners on July 1,
2011. It is recommended that you purchase your carbon monoxide detector
ahead of time, as it’s possible there could be shortages.
Unlike fires, carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Carbon monoxide is
an odorless, colorless gas that is otherwise undetectable.
That is why it is important to install a carbon monoxide detector.
sources of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
gas heating systems
By far, LP gas heating and natural
gas heating cause the most carbon monoxide poisonings of the six
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
CO (Carbon Monoxide) is a gas that is
heavier than air. In any room it will sink to the floor and build
upwards. CO detectors should therefore be installed in places close to
the floor. Most detectors are plugged into wall outlets that are
usually located in an ideal location.
Signs You May
Have Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Because you cannot smell carbon monoxide,
it’s difficult to detect.
If you and
other family members in your home are showing the follow ing symptoms,
you may have carbon monoxide poisoning.
Headaches Dizziness Vomiting
If you or other members of your home
are experiencing these symptoms, immediately leave your home and get
fresh air. Call 911 for medical help after getting out of your home.
To Do If Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off
If you’re carbon monoxide detectors
start beeping, you’ll want to take the following steps:
carbon monoxide detector and get everyone outside.
see if anyone is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. If so, call
911. Open w indow s in home to get fresh air circulating.
all appliances and heating systems.
appliance or heating professional to check for a carbon monoxide leak.
Following these steps will help to
protect your family in the event of a carbon monoxide leak.
California law requires smoke
detectors to be installed in all "dwelling units intended for human
habitation." The specific requirements may vary depending on the type
of property, the number of units and the number of stories of the
"Where there is smoke there is flame" as the saying goes, and it is
true. Unlike CO, smoke is actually small particles that are transported
upward on a column of hot air. Smoke detectors detect the smoke
particles, and sound the alarm.
When CO builds up, it spreads throughout a
structure like water spilled on a table. Since CO is heavier than air,
it spreads across the floor. For this reason structures need only a few
Smoke rises to the ceiling on the other
hand and fills a room until it finds a doorway to spill under to fill
For proper safety, multiple fire detector
should be installed on every level of a building and its stairways as
well as hallways outside sleeping areas. Smoke detectors that work off
of household current must have backup batteries in case of a power
All smoke detectors should be tested and
their batteries changed every six months. The ideal way to remember is
to do it the same time you change your clocks for daylight savings time.