TRUCKEE, Calif. - Effective Jan. 1, 2013, carbon monoxide detection devices are required in existing dwellings and sleeping units in the state of California. Dwelling and sleeping units include apartments, lodging houses, dormitories, hotels, motels, condominiums, time shares and cooperatives.
Previously, carbon monoxide detection devices were only required in existing single-family homes. That requirement went into effect on July 1, 2011, implementing the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Prevention Act of 2010.
Building codes now require the installation of carbon monoxide detection devices in all new and existing dwelling units that have a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage. Fossil fuel includes coal, natural gas, propane, wood, kerosene and oil.
Carbon monoxide detection devices must be approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal (SFM) and installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. In dwellings, the devices must be installed on every level including basements and shall be centrally located outside of sleeping areas.
In existing construction, alarms may be battery operated or may be of the plug-in type with battery backup. In new construction, devices shall be hardwired, equipped with battery backup and interconnected so that when one alarm sounds, they all do.
Carbon monoxide devices may be combined with smoke alarms provided they are SFM-approved, tested, listed and certified, and the combined device emits an alarm or voice warning that clearly differentiates between a carbon monoxide alarm warning and a smoke detector warning.
When a permit is issued for alterations, repairs or additions in an existing dwelling and the valuation of work exceeds $1,000, the Building Division will check for both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This includes furnace or water heater change out, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, or other alteration or addition permits. On final inspection, building inspectors will confirm carbon monoxide devices are installed. If they are not installed, a re-inspection fee may be charged.
A violation of this law is an infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $200.
For more information see California Health and Safety Code Sections 13261 and 17926 at www.leginfo.ca.gov/index.html or contact town of Truckee Chief Building Official Michael Lavallee at 530-582-2905.