As you likely know, carbon monoxide detectors are now required in California for all single family dwellings as of July 1, 2011 (apartments by January 1, 2013). Any dwelling with a gas heater or appliance, fireplace or attached garage must install a carbon monoxide alarm (First Alert). Being that these detectors are now state law due to health and safety reasons, FHA appraisers should be calling for the installation of a carbon monoxide detector if it is missing according to the the HUD Santa Ana Homeownership Center. In short, if you’re getting an FHA loan, make sure a carbon monoxide detector is properly installed.
Owners of California dwelling units, especially rentals, that have (i) a fossil fuel-burning heater, appliance or fireplace (for example, a gas stove or water heater) or (ii) an attached garage, need to be aware of a new law passed in 2010 regarding carbon monoxide devices. Under newly-enacted sections 17926, 17926.1, and 17926.2 of the Health & Safety Code (part of Senate Bill No. 183), owners of all such properties (excepting properties that are, generally-speaking, owned by or leased to the government) must install carbon monoxide alarms by the following deadlines: (1) July 1, 2011, as to single-family dwellings, or (2) January 1, 2013, as to all other dwellings. (from ThoItsLaw blog)
If you wish do to further reading, check out an overview of the California CO law requirements, search the California State Fire Marshall website for approved detectors, or the Home Safety Council website for background information. Thanks to Cynthia Sulamo, an appraiser friend, for the Home Safety Council link and post idea.
My Carbon Monoxide Alarm: On a personal note, I installed a carbon monoxide detector last week in my house and when I put in the battery and heard a testing of the alarm, let me tell you there will be no mistaking a CO issue. It says very loudly and repeatedly “CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTED” or something to that effect. I don’t want this alarm to ever go off again for safety reasons and also noise-level. I sure am thankful to speak english too since the alarm warning spoke in english only. :)