Every year in the United States, there is almost 500 unintentional deaths and more than 1700 suicides that are related to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. CO is produce when fossil fuels, such as natural gas, propane, kerosene, gasoline, coal, wood and charcoal, burn incompletely due to improper installation/ poor maintenance and/or inadequate ventilation of the appliance. These fuels can be found practically in most if not all homes in the United States. The potential sources of CO in our homes can be: chimney, furnace, attached garage, fireplace, water heater, charcoal grill, clothes dryer and a portable heater. The length of exposure and the concentration of the exposure could make the difference between life and death.
The State of California made it a requirement that all Owners of California dwelling units, especially rentals, that have (i) a fossil fuel-burning heater, appliance or fireplace (for example, a gas stove or water heater) or (ii) an attached garage install carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms must be approved by the State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal maintains a list of alarms and detectors that are acceptable.