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Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Required in California

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act

Smoke Detectors are not the same as Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors are now being required in most homes after the approval of the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act. The California's Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 dictates that, starting from July 1, 2011, all residential property, 1 to 4 units must be equipped with approved carbon monoxide detector equipment. The equipment must be approved by the California State Fire Marshal. New construction or remodels shall be hard-wired with battery back-up, interconnecting all detectors so that when one alarm sounds, they all do. Finally, Carbon Monoxide alarms are not intended neither suitable for fire and smoke detection.

California's Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010

A carbon monoxide detector is a plug-in device, either battery supplied or wired to alternate current that emits a high distinctive sound when carbon monoxide is detected. A carbon monoxide detector is not the same as a smoke detector; however, if a combination detector is being installed, it should be capable of identifying both fumes with different sounds.

Every builder must install these approved devices, Cal. Health & Safety Cod17926(a), in each dwelling unit as following this applicable time period:

  1. For all existing single-family dwelling units on or before July 1, 2011.
  2. For all other existing dwelling units, duplex/apartment/condominium complex, on or before Jan. 1, 2013.

The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 mandates that detectors must be installed if the residential unit has any of the following:

  • Gas appliances such as gas stove, fireplace, gas water heater, etc.
  • Fireplace.
  • An attached garage.

From January 1, 2013, all multi-family units will be required to install Carbon Monoxide detectors, even if the property is listed as a rental property.

Information specific to the Act is found in the California Health and Safety Code Sections 13260 through 13263. See the California Health & Safety Code Sections 13261 & 17926.

Carbon Monoxide Detector California Code Requirements

California building code standards require that all new constructions, per section R315, mandate that the detector must be:

'Installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s) in dwelling units and on every level including basements within which fuel-fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages.'

Under section 420 of the CBC also requires that the monoxide detector must be:

'Installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s) in dwelling units and on every level including basements within which fuel-fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages.'

Carbon Monoxide Detector Installation

Carbon monoxide detectors required by the law on the State of California should be installed properly. As a general practice smoke detectors shall be installed:

  • On a wall about five feet above from floor level.
  • It is recommended installing the detector at least 6 inches from all exterior walls and at least 3 feet from HVAC vents./li>
  • Carbon monoxide detectors can be installed on ceiling; however, wall installation is recommended./li>
  • Each floor needs its own set of monoxide detectors, when required by building codes./li>
  • It is recommended installing carbon monoxide detectors near the sleeping area./li>
  • Follow manufacturer's recommendations or follow guidelines by Standard 720 of the National Fire Protection Association.

Carbon Monoxide Approved Manufacturers

The following is a list of carbon monoxide detectors manufacturers approved by the State Fire Marshall Office. Please check the current and updated approved manufacturers for the most recent list.

  • Company: BRK BRANDS, INC.
  • Company: GENTEX CORPORATION
  • Company: Linear LLC
  • Company: Universal Security Instruments
  • Company: KIDDE SAFETY
  • >Company: PATRICK PLASTICS INC
  • Company: QUANTUM GROUP INC

Carbon Monoxide Risk

Carbon monoxide can be deadly and extreme harmful. It is produced by burning fuels, coal, wood, oil, gas and several other petroleum-based products. It is also produced by common industrial equipment, cars, and electrical generators. Lower levels of carbon monoxide poisoning could produce:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
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