Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

New law to require home carbon monoxide detectors

California homeowners will be required to install carbon monoxide detectors starting in July 2011 under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that is aimed at preventing deaths and injuries caused by poisoning from the odorless, colorless gas.

Up to 40 California residents die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), whose legislation was signed by the governor.

“SB 183 will help put an end to the senseless deaths and injuries Californians suffer due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning every year,” said Kevin Nida, president of the California State Firefighters' Assn.

The California Air Resources Board says an average of 30 to 40 "avoidable deaths" occur in California each year because of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Lowenthal said there also are hundreds of "avoidable" emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state each year.

The bill requires that alarm devices, which can cost less than $30, to be installed in existing single-family homes that have a fossil-fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage, starting in mid-2011. All other residential units will have to have the detectors in place by Jan. 1, 2013.

In addition to the firefighters association, the legislation also was supported by the California Alarm Assn. and Home Depot.

--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Comments () | Archives (19)

This definitely sounds like it has the potential to save lives. Just like smoke detectors, such an inexpensive device but with the potential to prevent tragedy if people install them and keep them in working order.

Are you kidding me. How much of the back end of the money for these detectors is Arnold going to get. 30 or 40 deaths will be prevented a year. while the makers of these devices will make millions off of homeowners. First of all I bought 1 on these devices years ago and I was told to disconnect it because if gave off false readings and the alarm would go off for no reason. Arnold let's concentrate on something that would really save lives like putting resources in place that would ensure we dont continue to have innocent people gunned down, or bus drivers stabbed to death on the job, or innocent people be killed by hit and run drivers. More than 30 or 40 people die a year from the direct result of these uncalled for acts. Also you can use the tax money that we the tax payers are already paying to fund this.

That's it? 30-40 deaths only..I can think of lot more things that kills hundreds of Californians each year. What a stupid law! Here we go again with more senseless CA laws...Now, who the heck is going to enforce it and with what money?

What delightful news. The state of California has nothing better to do with its time than mandate that many hundreds of thousands of housing units lay out $30 a piece, while the state is essentially bankrupt with a massive debt of $25 billion not counting the unfunded liabilities in public pensions, is seeking new tax revenues, and Lowehthal and the legislature now require the purchase of this product. Supported by the alarm manufacturers and vendors, it shows that crony capitalism infects the Democrats hugely. I look forward to the further bankrupting of the state until there is no where to turn. One notes this news if carried by media, which itself is in bankruptcy proceedings. What is there about the short-sightedness of debt which the political mind cannot comprehend, but rather rushes to "bread and circuses" to keep the public from not noticing the utter corruption?

.000001081 percent of Californians die each year from "unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning" so we are going to spend 240 million dollars to prevent those deaths. By contrast more than 2000 people are murdered every year in our state and 185,000 violent crimes were committed. Wouldn't it make more sense (though not as much sales tax) to spend the 240 million to protect citizens from violent criminals?

I never cease to be amazed by the craziness of the California Legislature and their crusade to tell others how to live.

A couple of months ago, I discovered we had a faulty oven. I had no idea it was bad until my monoxide gas alarm went off. It registered a dangerous level of gas in the bedroom, and it was probably a lethal concentration in the kitchen.

So yes, these alarms should be installed just like a smoke detector.

California is in such deep doo-do, and our esteemed legislators are passing these idiotic laws. I say fire them all and elect a whole new batch part-time. Maybe 1 month a year. The rest of the year they can earn an honest living like the rest of us.

Let's pass feel good laws like this while we ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room called the state budget. How many more people are going to lose their homes, cars etc. while our esteemed representatives in Sacramento waste their time on things like this?

The typical rant is to throw out the tired old "Throw the bums out!" mantra. Sure. As long as the Democratic party has their loyal sheeple to nominate the most liberal and leftist candidates in the primaries there will be no change to this cycle. I would mention the Republican party, but let's face it, in this state they are irrelevant.

A truly sad state of affairs.

I can't imagine how they are goiong to enforce this STUPID law. Get out of MY home!

What a joke!!! 30 - 40 people? That's nothing. Way to shell out the money to the companies that make these detectors. If it's that big a deal maybe they should advertise and scare people into installing them. But no the government would rather force these choices on people.

I think it's a good thing that homes are now required to have carbon monoxide detectors, but I can guarantee it's going to be a pain to get people to install them. I think most installations will occur during real transactions. That's really the only way people can be forced to install them, just like many homes that I see that are missing smoke detectors.

It's truly amazing to me the ridiculous & reactionary statements of people about a law such as this. This is designed to save lives whether or not you think that 30-40 people per year is "worth" it or not. I wonder how you would feel if it was your family that was killed because you didn't want to "invest" the $30-$40 it would have taken to save their lives? That small investment would come from each homeowner & would be done on a voluntary basis. The money is not coming from the states budget so before you pass judgement & over react get your facts straight! A law such as this is long overdue & now maybe those of us who comply can rest easier knowing that our families are being protected from a silent killer.

There is a big difference in "should be installed" and "mandated by law". How in the world, and at what cost would this be enforced?

The nanny state strikes again!

We have 40 or so deaths in the entire state each year and "hundreds" of injuries. If the injuries are measured in "hundreds", let's assume a worst-case of 999 injuries per year.

There are TWELVE MILLION households in California. Assuming that, on average, each household would be required to buy 1.5 detectors, that's $540 million that California residents are REQUIRED to spend, not including the cost of batteries. It's obvious why Home Depot supports this.

What happens when an alarm goes off? Well, the homeowner would likely have to call the fire department who will log added response hours. This is typical of government workers trying to validate their usefulness. Any extra hours will translate into more hiring and more overtime. That's why firefighters love this.

If a "problem" is identified, the home owners will have to pay thousands to replace existing water heaters, garage doors, etc. That makes those contractors happy. By "problem" I mean a contractor scaring an ignorant home owner into believing they need more repairs than they really do. In other words, it's an opportunity for theft and needless upselling.

The only thing "needless" is this stupid legislation.

For those bitter partisans blaming Arnold, bear in mind that the Democrat legislature voted for this and it is supported by the fire fighter's union.

Population of 300 billion and we are loosing 40 people a year...I mean really??? I don't have a problem with the installation I have a problem with it becoming a law...put it on Arnolds tab I'm just trying to pay the bills I have.

Legislation brought to you courtesy of California Air Resources Board CARB and of course First Alert's and Home Depot's lobby money corrupting our state officials.

A more sensible law would have only been to "legally require" the device to be installed in "rental units" where landlords "make money" off the dwelling unit.

At 40 deaths per year, lets start banning 5 gal plastic buckets and 2nd story screen windows which both kill more than 40 toddlers per year.
If I want to purchase one, how about the state helping me to buy one for my OWN safety and how about a state funded EDUCATION program to help us understand why we should all have one.

They do make sense but at 40 deaths per year, making it a "legal requirement" is absurd.

Make it a legal requirement that people are "more careful" and you could save 400.000 injuries and 4000 deaths.

All LA residents should heed this law if they want to be safe. Many people perished due to negligence. Security systems such as CO detectors are effective in preserving lives.

"30 to 40 'avoidable deaths'"...Yes, avoidable in that 1) people need to be sure their damper is open when they use their fireplace, 2) don't leave the car running in a closed garage, 3) don't use a gas powered generator or lantern inside the house. Those are a few free ways that most if not all of those deaths could have been avoided. Get the CO source out of the house.

A LAW? Do we as AMERICAN's have a democrocy or a socialist government.
When do people take their own responsiblity and not have things shoved down out throats. Some laws for maintaining law and order is for Americans not laws to drive us through our lives.
People need to stand up and take their own responsiblity for their own lives and get the government (federal and state) to stop taking away our responsibilities and rights as individuals of A FREE COUNTRY!


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: