Where And Why Are Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required?

Everyone seems to have heard of carbon monoxide, but not many people seem to know much about it. This gas is produced whenever a fuel source is burned. These fuel sources can consist of many different things including kerosene, oil, gas and even wood or charcoal.

The problem is that carbon monoxide cannot be seen or otherwise detected without the use of a monitoring device and in high levels; carbon monoxide can actually cause death. Not to mention even smaller amounts can still cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to serious health issues from lethargy and amnesia to psychosis and even Parkinson’s disease.


Taking that into consideration it may be a little bit more obvious why it’s so important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. So here’s a few things to know about the detectors themselves:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors are similar to smoke detectors in size, appearance and cost.
  • The detector can be a battery powered plug-in style with battery backup, or an installed and wired device connected to a system panel with battery backup.
  • Under law, the carbon monoxide detector must omit an audible alarm when elevated levels of carbon monoxide are detected.
  • In circumstances in which a combination of both a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are in the same device, there must be a distinct difference in the audible alarm between the two.

What most people are wondering when researching this topic, though, is what the California law is about carbon monoxide detectors. As per The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, detectors are required to be installed in every dwelling unit that will be used for human occupancy. This means that homeowners with property for human occupancy or units to be rented for human occupancy must have an approved device in dwellings that have a fossil fuel burning appliance, heater, fireplace or an attached garage.

Until July 1, 2011 this regulation meant all existing single family dwellings must comply. However as of January 1, 2013 all other existing dwellings were required to comply. So as of present day, all dwellings for human occupancy must have these devices.

To comply with building standards, carbon monoxide detectors should be centrally located outside each of the sleeping areas in the home within immediate proximity of the bedrooms. This includes each level of the home including basements. The actual alarm, if separate, should be a minimum of six inches from exterior walls and three feet from supply or return vents.

It’s the responsibility of landlords to make sure devices in rentals for human occupancy are in working order at the time the tenant moves in. It then becomes the responsibility of the tenants to let the landlord know if any of the devices become inoperable.

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re in compliance with California law relating to carbon monoxide detectors, or better yet; have a professional California appraiser assist you. Lack of functional devices can often lead to fines and also delay closings when a sale of the property is involved. Not to mention, it only makes sense to protect both your home and rental units from possible exposure to carbon monoxide.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions, thoughts or comments please leave them down below.

The ‘Temecula Appraisal Group’ specializes in divorce appraisals, bankruptcy appraisals, date of death appraisals, estate appraisals, pre-listing appraisals and more throughout the Temecula area.

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