Installation recommendations vary by manufacturer, please read the installation recommendations for your CO detector.
Proper placement of a carbon monoxide (CO) detector is important.
If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home provides extra protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.
When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide's specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air.
Installation locations vary by manufacturer. Manufacturers' recommendations differ to a certain degree based on research conducted with each one's specific detector. Therefore, make sure to read the provided installation manual for each detector before installing.
CO detectors do not serve as smoke detectors and vice versa. However, dual smoke/CO detectors are also sold. Smoke detectors detect the smoke generated by flaming or smoldering fires, whereas CO detectors can alarm people about faulty fuel burning devices to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. In the home CO can be formed, for example, by open flames, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside a garage.
Since CO is colorless, tasteless and odorless (unlike smoke from a fire), detection and prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in a home environment is impossible without such a warning device.
New Law Regarding Carbon Monoxide Detectors Home Inspectors will start checking for CO detectors after passage of new Disclosure Laws
California Senate Bill 183 was signed into law to regulate the installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors. The law is a two-part law that requires an update to the Transfer Disclosure Statements used in a real estate transaction, and puts into law the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010.Part 1: As of July 1, 2011, Transfer Disclosure Statements (TD forms) include a line item regarding the presence or absence of a Carbon Monoxide detector in the same manner as Smoke Detectors, for all residential units that are sold.
This applies to just about all types of occupancies from single family owner-occupied and rentals, to multi-family housing. If the property is being sold, it must now include a CO Detector if the dwelling has gas appliances, fireplaces, and/or attached garages as described below. Part 2: Enacts the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 which requires that all residential properties, not just those being sold, be equipped with a Carbon Monoxide detector when the property has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, and/or an attached garage. All single-family homes in structures with 1-4 units (owner or tenant occupied) must be equipped with a detector on or before July 1, 2011. All other multi-family residential units must be equipped with a detector on or before January 1, 2013, not just those being sold.The bottom line is that ALL SINGLE FAMILY residential dwelling units as of July 1, 2011 must have a CO detector, even those that are not being sold. All other dewlling units (multi-family, dormatories, hotels, motels, etc) must have CO detectors installed by January 1, 2013.Expect to see this new inspection item in your home inspection report. Home inspectors will be required to report on the presence or absence of a working Carbon Monoxide detector just like they report on Smoke Detectors, and water heater strapping.Home Buyers and Sellers will also see this new requirement on Transfer Disclosure Statements. In addition to Smoke Alarms and strapped water heaters, sellers will be required to disclose the presence or absence of a working Carbon Monoxide detector starting July 1, 2011.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010Details: As of July 1, 2011, Carbon Monoxide detectors will be REQUIRED in all houses (1 – 4 units) if they have any of the following:
Any gas appliances such as a gas stove, gas furnace, gas fireplace, gas water heater, etc.
A fireplace (even if it only burns wood, pellets, or any other material).
An attached garage (even if there are no gas appliances in the house!). Cars continue to emit CO even after they are shut off.
ANY rental dwelling that meets the criteria listed above. Yes this means that if you own a house, condo, or townhouse that you rent to another human being, you are REQUIRED to install Carbon Monoxide detectors.
As of January 1, 2013, ALL multi-family dwellings including multi-family dwellings that meet the criteria listed above will be required to have Carbon Monoxide detectors. Even those that are not being sold will be required to have them just like smoke detectors.
Be sure the home you are buying or selling is safe. A qualified home inspector will provide the information you need to feel confident about your home buying decision. Don’t compromise when choosing a home inspector. Be sure to ask if they will check for this.
John Hammond, CCI CELL (714) 681-8370 OFFICE (714) 681-8464 John@HammondInspectionServices.com