What is the California CO Carbon Monoxide Detector Law for 2024?

Is there a state wide California rule for having CO – carbon monoxide – detectors in your home? Yes! The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 13260 et seq.) requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in every “dwelling unit intended for human occupancy.” Under the law, every owner of residential property in California must install an approved carbon monoxide detector in each existing dwelling unit that has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. In general, the law requires the owner “to 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.” This law applies to homeowners, whether you are selling your home or not.

Where should CO – carbon monoxide – detectors be placed? CO detectors should be placed on each floor of your residence typically outside of bedrooms or sleeping areas. CO detectors should be placed in small guest units or ADU structures where there are gas appliances, or near or adjacent garages. CO detectors should also be placed in any sleeping room where there is a gas appliance such as a fireplace, stove, heater or water heater. A CO detector should cover approx. 1500 sq ft of living space, so if your dwelling is large, multiple CO detectors are required. The ‘gravity’ or weight of carbon monoxide is similar to air, so CO detectors may be placed at low or high levels within living spaces, unlike smoke detectors, which should be placed as high as possible within a home. More on detector placement here.

Why is carbon monoxide such a big deal? Carbon monoxide is a gas produced whenever any fuel, such as gasoline, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal, is burned. Humans cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but it is an extremely dangerous gas that can result in serious health complications and even death. This means a wood burning fireplace in your bedroom may produce carbon monoxide. A stove in a small living space may produce carbon monoxide. Even being near a running car, ie in your enclosed garage, may produce carbon monoxide.

What should I do if I suspect possible carbon monoxide poisoning, or if my CO detector goes off? If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, move to the outside with fresh air, and open up windows in your home. Immediately call 911 for assistance. Local fire departments have sensitive carbon monoxide detection systems that can verify the existence of carbon monoxide. Don’t take a chance.

What is our favorite CO (carbon monoxide) detector? Check out this link.

Have questions? Ask in the comment section below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *