Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements for California Residents

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On August 22, 2011
Last modified:September 25, 2013



Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirement

In May of 2010, the State of California enacted a law requiring home owners to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.


Although the bill was signed into law in 2010, California residents must have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes as of July 1, 2011; this timeline applies only to all residential units (SFR, Condo, PUD, Manuf., 2-4 Units) that have appliances that burn fossil fuels or homes that have attached garages or fireplaces.

According to the Senate bill, the detector must sound an audible warning once carbon monoxide is detected. It must also be powered by a battery, or if it is a plug-in it must have a battery backup. The detector must also be certified by a national testing lab, such as the Underwriters Laboratories. The packaging on the carbon monoxide detector will reflect this certification. If the carbon monoxide detector is also a smoke detector, it must still meet the above standards and sound a carbon monoxide alarm that is different than the smoke alarm.


Carbon monoxide detectors are to be installed in the following locations:

  1. Outside of each separate dwelling unit/sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s).
  2. On every level of a dwelling unit including basements.

Failure to have it installed prior to the appraisal inspection will have appraiser calling for the carbon monoxide detector as a repair item on the appraisal report, as they do smoke detectors. This could mean re-inspection fees for you and delay in loan closing. Carbon monoxide detectors typically can be purchased for about $20 and up.

For all appraisals completed with an effective date on or after July 1, 2011 the underwriter will condition for this item, if the appraiser has not commented or confirmed that the subject property has a carbon monoxide detector in the proper locations and that it is in working order.

You can shop for Carbon Monoxide Alarms at Home Depot or Carbon Monoxide Detector on Amazon

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Shashank Shekhar

Best-selling author, Shashank is a mortgage lender with Arcus Lending, offering mortgage loans for home purchase and refinance in California. Shashank has been featured as a mortgage expert on Yahoo! News, ABC News, CBS, NBC and FOX. For a free consultation and/or rate quote email him at or call his office at (408) 615-0655 x 129.
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