New state mandates for carbon monoxide detectors in rental homesOn January 1, 2011, California Senate Bill 183 took effect, requiring that most homes have carbon monoxide detectors installed. This law applies to homes, duplexes, townhomes, condos and apartments with any or all of the following:
With respect to the number and placement of carbon monoxide devices, an owner shall install the devices in a manner consistent with building standards applicable to new construction for the relevant type of occupancy.
This bill provides that failure to install a carbon monoxide device is an infraction. Under the bill, an owner must first be given a 30-day notice to correct the violation and, if it is not corrected within that time period, the owner is subject to a fine of $200 for each offense.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 201013260. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010.
13261. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that carbon monoxide kills approximately 500 people each year and injures another 20,000 people nationwide.
(b) According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a person cannot see or smell carbon monoxide. At high levels carbon monoxide can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel, such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal, is burned.
(c) The State Air Resources Board estimates that every year carbon monoxide accounts for between 30 and 40 avoidable deaths, possibly thousands of avoidable illnesses, and between 175 and 700 avoidable emergency room and hospital visits.
(d) There are well-documented chronic health effects of acute carbon monoxide poisoning or prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide, including, but not limited to, lethargy, headaches, concentration problems, amnesia, psychosis, Parkinson's disease, memory impairment, and personality alterations.
(e) Experts estimate that equipping every home with a carbon monoxide device would cut accident-related costs by 93 percent. Eighteen states and a number of large cities have laws mandating the use of carbon monoxide devices.
(f) Carbon monoxide devices provide a vital, highly effective, and low-cost protection against carbon monoxide poisoning and these devices should be made available to every home in California.
(g) The Homeowners' Guide to Environmental Hazards prepared pursuant to Section 10084 of the Business and Professions Code is an important educational tool and should include information regarding carbon monoxide. It is the intent of the Legislature that when the booklet is next updated as existing resources permit, or as private resources are made available, it be updated to include a section on carbon monoxide.
13262. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Carbon monoxide device" means a device that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) A device designed to detect carbon monoxide and produce a distinct, audible alarm.
(2) A device that is battery powered, a plug-in device with battery backup, or a device installed as recommended by Standard 720 of the National Fire Protection Association that is either wired into the alternating current power line of the dwelling unit with a secondary battery backup or connected to a system via a panel.
(3) If the device is combined with a smoke detector, the combined device shall comply with all of the following:
(A) The standards that apply to carbon monoxide alarms as described in this chapter.
(B) The standards that apply to smoke detectors, as described in Section 13113.7.
(C) The combined device emits an alarm or voice warning in a manner that clearly differentiates between a carbon monoxide alarm warning and a smoke detector warning.
(4) The device has been tested and certified, pursuant to the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) as set forth in either ANSI/UL 2034 or ANSI/UL 2075, or successor standards, by a nationally recognized testing laboratory listed in the directory of approved testing laboratories established by the Building Materials Listing Program of the Fire Engineering Division of the Office of the State Fire Marshal of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
(b) "Dwelling unit intended for human occupancy" means a single-family dwelling, factory-built home as defined in Section 19971, duplex, lodging house, dormitory, hotel, motel, condominium, stock cooperative, time-share project, or dwelling unit in a multiple-unit dwelling unit building or buildings. "Dwelling unit intended for human occupancy" does not mean a property owned or leased by the state, the Regents of the University of California, or a local governmental agency.
(c) "Fossil fuel" means coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon products, which emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion.
13263. (a) (1) The State Fire Marshal shall develop a certification and decertification process to approve and list carbon monoxide devices and to disapprove and delist previously approved devices, if necessary. The certification and decertification process shall include consideration of effectiveness and reliability of the devices, including, but not limited to, their propensity to record false alarms. The certification and decertification process shall include a review of the manufacturer's instructions and shall ensure their consistency with building standards applicable to new construction for the relevant type of occupancy with respect to number and placement. (2) The State Fire Marshal shall charge an appropriate fee to the manufacturer of a carbon monoxide device to cover his or her costs associated with the approval and listing of carbon monoxide devices.
(b) A person shall not market, distribute, offer for sale, or sell any carbon monoxide device in this state unless the device and the instructions have been approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal.
SEC. 4. Section 17926 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
17926. (a) An owner of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy shall install a carbon monoxide device, approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to Section 13263, in each existing dwelling unit having a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage, within the earliest applicable time period as follows:
(1) For all existing single-family dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before July 1, 2011.
(2) For all other existing dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before January 1, 2013.
(b) With respect to the number and placement of carbon monoxide devices, an owner shall install the devices in a manner consistent with building standards applicable to new construction for the relevant type of occupancy or with the manufacturer's instructions, if it is technically feasible to do so.
(c) (1) Notwithstanding Section 17995, and except as provided in paragraph (2), a violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a maximum fine of two hundred dollars ($200) for each offense.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a property owner shall receive a 30-day notice to correct. If an owner receiving notice fails to correct within that time period, the owner may be assessed the fine pursuant to paragraph (2).
(d) No transfer of title shall be invalidated on the basis of a failure to comply with this section, and the exclusive remedy for the failure to comply with this section is an award of actual damages not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100), exclusive of any court costs and attorney's fees. This subdivision is not intended to affect any duties, rights, or remedies otherwise available at law.
(e) A local ordinance requiring carbon monoxide devices may be enacted or amended if the ordinance is consistent with this chapter. SEC. 5. Section 17926.1 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
17926.1. (a) An owner or owner's agent of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy who rents or leases the dwelling unit to a tenant shall maintain carbon monoxide devices in that dwelling unit consistent with this section and Section 17926.
(b) An owner or the owner's agent may enter any dwelling unit intended for human occupancy owned by the owner for the purpose of installing, repairing, testing, and maintaining carbon monoxide devices required by this section, pursuant to the authority and requirements of Section 1954 of the Civil Code.
(c) The carbon monoxide device shall be operable at the time that the tenant takes possession. A tenant shall be responsible for notifying the owner or owner's agent if the tenant becomes aware of an inoperable or deficient carbon monoxide device within his or her unit. The owner or owner's agent shall correct any reported deficiencies or inoperabilities in the carbon monoxide device and shall not be in violation of this section for a deficient or inoperable carbon monoxide device when he or she has not received notice of the deficiency or inoperability.
(d) This section shall not affect any rights which the parties may have under any other provision of law because of the presence or absence of a carbon monoxide device.
(e) For purposes of this section, with respect to a time-share project, "owner" means the homeowners' association of the time-share project.
SEC. 6. Section 17926.2 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
17926.2. (a) If the department, in consultation with the State Fire Marshal, determines that a sufficient amount of tested and approved carbon monoxide devices are not available to property owners to meet the requirements of the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2009 and Sections 17926 and 17926.1, the department may suspend enforcement of the requirements of Sections 17926 and 17926.1 for up to six months. If the department elects to suspend enforcement of these requirements, the department shall notify the Secretary of State of its decision and shall post a public notice that describes its findings and decision on the departmental Internet Web site.
(b) If the California Building Standards Commission adopts or updates building standards relating to carbon monoxide devices, the owner or owner's agent, who has installed a carbon monoxide device as required by Section 17926 or 17926.1, shall not be required to install a new device meeting the requirements of those building standards within an individual dwelling unit until the owner makes application for a permit for alterations, repairs, or additions to that dwelling unit, the cost of which will exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).
SEC. 7. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
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