We at the Red Cross are constantly stressing the importance of checking your smoke detectors regularly, as well as practicing family fire drills. But many are unaware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, often known as the silent killer. New California State Law is taking an active approach to reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
California Senate Bill 183 was signed into law to regulate the installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors. The law is a two-part law that requires an update to the Transfer Disclosure Statements used in a real estate transaction, and puts into law the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010.
The first part of the new law requires that as of July 1, 2011, Transfer Disclosure Statements (TD forms) include a line item regarding the presence or absence of a Carbon Monoxide detector in the same manner as Smoke Detectors, for all residential units that are sold. This applies to just about all types of occupancies from single family owner-occupied and rentals, to multi-family housing. If the property is being sold, it must now include a CO Detector if the dwelling has gas appliances, fireplaces, and/or attached garages.
The second part of the law enacts the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 which requires that all residential properties, not just those being sold, be equipped with a Carbon Monoxide detector when the property has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, and/or an attached garage. All single-family homes in structures with 1-4 units (owner or tenant occupied) must be equipped with a detector on or before July 1, 2011.
All other multi-family residential units must be equipped with a detector on or before January 1, 2013, not just those being sold.
For rentals, the Carbon Monoxide detector must be operable at the time the tenant takes possession. A tenant is responsible for notifying the owner or owner’s agent if the tenant becomes aware of an inoperable or deficient carbon monoxide detector within his or her unit. The owner or owner’s agent must correct any reported deficiencies in the carbon monoxide detector and will not be in violation of this section for a deficient or inoperable carbon monoxide detector when he or she has not received notice of the deficiency or inoperability.
The bottom line is that ALL SINGLE FAMILY residential dwelling units as of July 1, 2011 must have a CO detector, even those that are not being sold. All other dewlling units (multi-family, dormatories, hotels, motels, etc) must have CO detectors installed by January 1, 2013.
Expect to see this new inspection item in your home inspection report. Home inspectors will be required to report on the presence or absence of a working Carbon Monoxide detector just like they report on Smoke Detectors, and water heater strapping.
Most carbon monoxide detectors run for around $35.00 to $50.00 dollars and can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, or even Walmart. It is a small price to pay for the safety of you and your family.