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New Law Requires Carbon Monoxide Detector

A new law that took effect July 1, the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 (SB 183), requires homeowners, landlords, apartment managers and builders to install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in an effort to prevent accidental deaths.

Those who don’t could receive a 30-day notice to comply, or face a fine of up to $200. The state said owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings – including apartment buildings – have until Jan. 1, 2013, to comply with the new law.

Every year, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is responsible for 30-40 accidental deaths in California. With the help of an electronic device which emits an alarm whenever carbon monoxide levels reach a certain threshold, residents can be protected from the harmful effects of excessive CO. The danger of carbon monoxide, CO, is that it is a colorless, odorless gas, which can lead to asphyxiation. Victims are often silently robbed of oxygen while they sleep.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at most hardware stores and start at around $19.99. When choosing a device for your home, make sure to check reviews and product information online. You will want to do a little research before selecting a product that should last several years. Spending a few minutes finding out the details and statistics on the several models available will help ensure the best value.

For more information on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning visit the Cal Fire web site by clicking here.

For a list of approved carbon monoxide detection devices visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s web site by clicking here.

Carrie Van Beurden