Earlier this year, the California legislature passed a law that will be taking effect on July 1, 2011 concerning Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Yes, I know that’s almost 8 months off, but the next time you’re at one of the big box hardware stores or Costco, pick up the Carbon Monoxide Detectors they sell and install them everywhere your current smoke detectors are in your home because on July 1st, all single family homes in California will be required to have them if, yes there is an if, you have a wood or gas burning fireplace, heat by gas, dry clothes by gas, or cook with gas. All of these things are considered fossil fuel burning appliances. If you have an all electric home, you won’t need these, since you have no fossil fuels in your home.
If you live in any other type of housing such as a condo, apartment, duplex, etc. this law goes into effect on January 1, 2013. You get an extra 18 months to buy and install these. Many condos are all electric – newer units have gas cooking, hot water heaters and gas furnaces. Landlords will be required to install them but tenants must maintain them.
Carbon Monoxide is the silent killer. One doesn’t smell it or see it. It’s a byproduct of the combustion from fossil fuels. If you use an old kerosene heater, heat by coal or oil, wood or gas, or any other petroleum product, you have fossil fuels burning inside your home. These batteries install just like the standard smoke detector. It can be hard wired or battery operated. They are more expensive than a smoke detector by looking at the prices at Costco so plan ahead and buy them over the next couple of months so your budget isn’t broken and your family is safe.
The State of California has set a fine for violation of this bill with at maximum of $200 for each offense. How will they find out? If you have a fire and don’t have one, or sell or rent your property, and don’t have them installed, the government will fine you. But seriously folks, for very little money you can protect yourself and your loved ones so don’t wait until the law takes place, start doing it now.