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Carbon monoxide detectors mandatory as of July 1
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In just under a month, new legislation will require most California homeowners to install potentially life-saving carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

Previously, only newly-constructed homes were required to have CO alarms. But the new Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act requires owners of all existing single-family homes with an attached garage or fossil fuel source to install CO alarms within homes by July 1.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and some appliances and cooking devices. Overexposure to the gas can kill humans, preventing bodies from accessing enough oxygen to survive.

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, each year claiming the lives of an average of 480 people,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover. “And sending more than 20,000 people to emergency rooms across the nation.”

Nearly nine in 10 California households do not have a CO detector – the most effective way to combat the gas.

“Having a CO detector is a small investment that really can help save your life and the lives of your family,” Hoover said.

Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings are subject to the law as well, but have until Jan. 1, 2013 to comply.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.