Effective July 1, 2011, California State Law requires existing single family homes must install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and safety experts recommend installing CO alarms on every level of the home and in sleeping areas.
California’s new law aims to protect families, while reducing the number of associated casualties. Following its initial enactment in January 2011, the second phase became effective on July 1, 2011 when existing homes with a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace, or attached garage are required to install CO alarms. The final phase will require CO alarm installation in existing multi-family dwellings by January 2013.
Carbon monoxide poisoning has many potential sources, including faulty furnaces, gas ranges and stoves, or gas clothes dryers; enclosed portable heaters; blocked chimneys and wood burning stoves; enclosed gas-powered generators and charcoal grills, to name a few.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas known as the “silent killer” because many people do not realize they’re being poisoned until it’s too late. Initial symptoms of CO poisoning often mimic the flu – including headaches, dizziness and nausea…and are often misdiagnosed.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur anywhere, to anyone, at any time. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds people that CO poisoning is easily preventable with a working CO alarm.