California residents must have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes as of July 1, 2011. This timeline applies only to single-family homes that have appliances that burn fossil fuels or homes that have attached garages or fireplaces. For all other types of housing, such as apartments and hotels, detectors should be in place as of January 1, 2013. Types of fossil fuels include wood, gas and oil.
According to the senate bill, the detector must sound an audible warning once carbon monoxide is detected. It also must be powered by a battery, or if it is plugged in, have a battery for a backup. The detector also must be certified by national testing labs, such as the Underwriters Laboratories. The packaging on the carbon monoxide detector will state this. If the CO detector is also a smoke detector, it must still meet the above standards and must sound an alarm that is different than the smoke alarm. Carbon monoxide detectors typically can be purchased for about $20 and up.
Although the law targets units that are occupied by humans, the law exempts state and local government property, as well as property owned by the University of California Regents. The law requires local jurisdictions to comply; however, they may amend their current ordinances to fall more in line with the law.
California law states that anyone who does not comply with the law may face a $200 fine. However, residents will receive a notice of 30 days to correct any violations before they will be fined.