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New law to require home carbon monoxide detectors

May 7, 2010 |  4:43 pm

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

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