Hardware stores across California will be stacked with carbon monoxide detectors to supply state residents with a device that is mandatory as of today for single-family-homes and rental properties with four or less units that burn fossil fuels.
SB 183, as the bill is known, was authored by California state senator Alan Lowenthal and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in May 2010. The law states homes that use fossil fuel burning appliances, have a fireplace or an attached garage will now be required to use carbon monoxide detectors. Home owners will also be required to disclose the number of CO monitors when placing their home on the market.
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Failure to install proper CO detectors within 30 days could result in up to $100 in fines. Large apartment complexes have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law before facing a fine.
The new law, also know as the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act, is designed to combat the accidental deaths of 30-40 California’s each year, according to The California Air Resources Board, who are killed as a result of CO poisoning, the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the US, according to The American Medical Association.
Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it is a colorless and odorless gas, making detection impossible without the use of a device. The gas restricts oxygen receptors in the blood, leading to asphyxiation.
For a list of approved CO detectors provided by the California state Fire Marshal click here, or visit the Fire Marshal’s website.
The state Fire Marshal has provided several tips for the proper use and installation of these CO detectors. These tips include:
• Install CO alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement. The CO alarm can warn you if too much CO is in your home.
• Keep CO alarms clear of dust and debris.
• Ensure CO alarms are plugged all the way into a working outlet, or if battery operated, have working batteries.
The bill was supported in 2009 by organizations such as The California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health, The California State Firefighters Association and Home Depot.