SACRAMENTO — Starting July 1, new legislation in California will go into effect requiring homeowners to install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in every home. The law aims to prevent sickness and death as a result of CO poisoning.
The bill requires alarm devices to be installed in existing single-family homes that have a fossil-fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage starting July 1. Owners of multifamily leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until Jan. 1, 2013, to comply with the law.
The legislation was supported by the California Alarm Association (CAA), California State Firefighters’ Assn., and Home Depot. California joins more than two dozen other states in requiring CO protection in homes and other residential and commercial occupancies, according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), which also supported the legislation.
According to acting California Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, an average of 480 people across the nation each year die from CO poisoning. A recent survey conducted by California Department of Forestry and Fire found that nearly nine out of 10 California households did not have a CO detector.
“Having a CO detector is a small investment that really can help save your life and the lives of your family,” Hoover said in a statement.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like and can include headache, nausea and dizziness. Prolonged exposure can lead to unconsciousness and death.