Be Carbon Monoxide Aware

carbon monoxide detectors are now required for all dwelling units

carbon monoxide detectors are now required for all dwelling units

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas found in appliances that burn fuel such as heaters, furnaces, gas stoves and fireplaces. What makes it so deadly is that it’s odorless and colorless, making it hard to know it’s around. People and animals can pass out, suffocate and in some cases die. However, there is a simple fix to that – getting a carbon monoxide detector. Installing a device is cheap and easy to save your live and the lives of others.

This is why in 2010, California passed the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act. Part of the code (Health & Safety Code §13260-13263 & 17926-17928) requires an owner of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy to install and maintain a carbon monoxide (CO) device in each dwelling unit having a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage.

The requirements were made first to single-family dwellings in 2011, then to all multi-family housing and apartments in 2013 and by January 1, 2016, hotel and motel dwellings must also have CO detectors.

CO devices should be centrally located outside of each sleeping area of the home and on every level, including the basement. Owners should also follow any manufacturer’s installation instruction. Failure to comply could results in fines.

A carbon monoxide detector may be battery powered, a plug-in device with battery backup, or hard-wired into the dwelling unit with a battery backup. They can be found in most hardware stores. Some even come as a smoke and CO combo device.

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when there is poor air flow in a room or space. Be sure you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, as they are often similar to other diseases. The most common systems are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting and chest pain.

More information about the law and how to purchase a carbon monoxide detector can be found at: http://smchealth.org/environ/housing

Help save a life, make sure you have a CO detector!

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