Santa Clara County Fire Department

New California Law
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Requirements

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

It's the Law

Senate Bill 183 in California requires Carbon Monoxide Alarms for dwelling units intended for human occupancy with a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Effective Date

Effective date of this law is January 1, 2011 for new construction, July 1, 2011 for existing single family dwellings and January 1, 2013 for multi-family dwellings and buildings such as apartments and hotels.

Dwellings Affected

"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 building.

Installation Requirements

The code states "With respect to the number and placement of carbon monoxide devices, the devices shall be installed in a manner consistent with building standards applicable to new construction for the relevant type of occupancy." One alarm is required outside each sleeping area, on each story and in the basement.

Approved Alarms

Alarms are required to be approved by an nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) such as UL or ETL to the ANSI/UL 2034 standard and be approved and listed by the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM). Alarms may be hardwired with battery backup, plug-in with battery backup or battery operated. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are also acceptable as long as they meet ANSI/UL 2034 and 217 standards.


Exemptions are included for buildings containing neither attached garage nor fossil fuel burning appliances.

Additional helpful links

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon Monoxide Frequently Asked Questions [pdf, 57k]

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning [pdf, 44k]

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