Carbon Monoxide Detectors now required by law

Single family home owners are required to install carbon monoxide detectors starting July 2011, by a Senate Bill No. 183 signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas, that can cause death if breathed in a closed environment. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced when any fossil fuel such as gas, coal, oil or wood is burnt without enough oxygen. Carbon Monoxide is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without using detection technology.

If you operating machinery that produces exhaust in your house, make sure to open the windows to get outside air ventilation. I heard a story of a construction worker who was running a gas fueled generating inside a home during a remodel that died from CO poisoning, it’s very dangerous!

Make sure your Carbon Monoxide detectors are installed before the bank appraisal. Some appraisers will not appraisal a property if the carbon monoxide detectors are not installed and instead will reschedule, which will add another week onto your escrow.

 

According to the statistics, up to 40 California residents die each year from CO poisoning. These deaths are avoidable. Symptoms of CO Poisoning:

Drowsiness

Headaches

Visual Problems

Dry Throat

Nausea

Vomiting

These symptoms are very similar to flu like symptoms. Quickly identifying if you are experiencing CO poisoning can save your life.

A carbon Monoxide Detector is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased for under $30. Many carbon Monoxide detector’s also double as smoke detector’s so it is quite easy to retrofit.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors will be required in all Single Family homes that have a fossil-fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. July 1, 2011. Some common sources of CO in the home include open flames, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside the garage.

Landlord of residential rental units will be required to comply with the Carbon Monoxide Detector law by Jan. 1, 2013.

Personally, this bill reminds me a lot of the life jacket bill that passed in Minnesota when I was interning in the State Capital. Many people in Minnesota die each year in boating accidents because they are not wearing a life jacket. Seems like good common sense to wear one. I don’t believe though, that is the governments duty to enforce wearing one. Same goes with CO Detectors in homes. In general, I don’t like laws that the government is being your baby sitter. This bill will probably save lives, and that’s great so I should not make a fuss about it- but I feel like legislating common sense is going beyond the scope of what government is suppose to do. I feel that bills like this one distract government from it’s main purpose, which is to regulate capital markets, provide social services, balance the budget, and build and maintain infrastructure.

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