New Carbon Monoxide Detector Law

Published May 2, 2006 | Fire Department | Automatically Archived on 3/9/2007

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Effective March 31, 2006, all residences are required to be provided with carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. In response to the death of a young girl in her home from carbon monoxide poisoning, “Nicole’s” law was enacted to prevent similar occurrences. This law requires each habitable floor of a home to be fitted with at least one CO detector, and one CO detector to be located in the hallway within 10 feet of each bedroom door. A habitable floor is one that is finished or has furnishings making for normal use of the space.

One detector can fill several roles; for instance, if bedroom doors are 12 feet apart, a detector located between them (6 feet from each door) will satisfy the 10 foot rule of each bedroom as well as the need for a detector on that floor.

Both battery operated CO detectors and plug-in style detectors are suitable. Plug-in style must be equipped with an internal battery backup. Detectors must be UL listed, and owners should save the paperwork as installation must be per manufacturer’s instructions. Mounting height is per manufacturer or at your discretion if no height is stated.

Similar to smoke detectors, CO detectors are now required to be inspected and a certificate issued prior to the sale of any home. These two inspections can be scheduled and performed at the same time.