Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

On July 1, 2011, a new law went into effect requiring carbon monoxide detectors be placed in most California homes. The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 (Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 13260 et seq.) was signed into law this year. The law requires all single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install carbon monoxide alarms within the home. Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law.

Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is an odorless, colorless gas. You can't see it, smell it, or taste it; but carbon monoxide can kill you. CO is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces and many types of appliances and cooking devices. If appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars.

San Jose Mercury News reported an average of 480 people across the nation each year die from carbon monoxide poisoning. A recent study conducted by First Alert found that nearly nine out of 10 California households were not in compliance with the national recommendation for the number of carbon monoxide detectors required in a home. 

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