Carbon Monoxide (C.O.) Alarms

Inspect and install alarms as needed to comply with state law for homes, apartments and condos.

New California state law (SB 183), effective January 1, 2011, creates a requirement that carbon monoxide (CO) alarms be placed in dwelling units throughout the state.  The law creates disclosure requirements for sellers with respect to carbon monoxide (CO) monitors during property transactions, but absence of CO detectors does NOT preclude sale or transfer of the property.

The law covers every “dwelling unit intended for human occupancy” which means single-family housing, factory-built homes, condominiums, motels, hotels, dormitories, and each unit in “multiple-unit buildings.”  It applies to every dwelling unit that has “a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage”. “Fossil fuel” means “coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon products, which emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion.”

Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in existing single-family dwelling units in California no later than July 1, 2011. All other existing dwelling units must have proper CO alarms no later than January 1, 2013.

Carbon monoxide alarms must be designed to detect carbon monoxide and produce a “distinct, audible alarm.” The device may be battery-powered, a plug in, or hard-wired with a battery backup. It may be combined with a smoke detector, but must emit a distinct alarm to signal the presence of dangerous CO levels.  The devices must be certified by the State Fire Marshall.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas produced when any fuel is incompletely burned because of insufficient oxygen. Wood fires and charcoal grills produce large amounts of CO. Malfunctioning heating systems also produce CO.


Frequently Asked Questions about Carbon Monoxide Devices

Carbon Monoxide Detectors State Statutes

UCLA treats carbon monoxide poisoning patients in largest hyperbaric chamber in Southern California

Placement of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirement Law

Carbon Monoxide Law – (SB 183)

New California Carbon Monoxide Detector Disclosure Requirement

Search for approved CO detection and alarm products:  California Office of the State Fire Marshal – Building Materials Listings

Battery operated Combination Carbon Monoxide, Fire & Smoke Alarm

AC Wire-in Combination Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Alarm

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Battery Operated with Digital Display

Carbon Monoxide Information from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection