Are you confused about where to install carbon monoxide detectors? I hope I can paint a helpful picture for you today so you have a better idea what to do.
When are CO detectors required? First off, as of July 1, 2011, it became state law in California for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed. CO detectors are only required for houses that have either an attached garage, fireplace or gas heater or appliance. Technically, if a house ran on electric only, had no fireplace and a detached garage, it does not need a carbon monoxide detector.
Where should carbon monoxide detectors be placed? They should be installed specifically outside of each sleeping area in a house (there could be multiple areas), on each level of the house and in the basement also. You may only need one carbon monoxide detector in your house, but you could need several detectors depending on the layout of your home. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the package first and foremost to ensure you have properly installed your detector. Moreover, if you’re unsure whether you need an additional detector or it is somewhat questionable, keep in mind detectors are fairly inexpensive. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
Here are some examples for you of various scenarios for determining how many carbon monoxide detectors are needed.
Example 1: There is one small hallway connecting all bedrooms in this single story house, so there is only one carbon monoxide detector required as indicated by the blue dot.
Example 2: There are two different sleeping areas in this single story house, so there is a need for two carbon monoxide detectors as indicated by the blue dots. See the video below (or here) of a walk-through of this house.
Example 3: This is a two-story home with a need for three carbon monoxide detectors since there are two floors as well as two separate sleeping areas upstairs.
Here is a video tour of Example 2 above to help you visualize installation:
By the way, Sacramento County Code Section B-8 R315.1 and R315.2 says the following regarding where carbon monoxide detectors should be installed (exactly what I said above):
- Outside of each separate dwelling unit sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s).
- On every level of a dwelling unit including basements.
Lastly, in case you did not know, carbon monoxide detectors are required by FHA since it is California state law. Since missing CO detectors are one of the most common FHA repair issues, it’s a good idea to install them before the appraiser inspects your home if you are doing an FHA loan.
I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.