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Carbon Monoxide Monitor Requirement Expands To Apartments

Aired 12/27/12 on KPBS News.

Apartments and condominiums in California will have to have carbon monoxide monitors in the new year.

— California law already requires single-family homes to have carbon monoxide detectors. On Jan. 1, the mandate will expand to apartments and condominiums.

Each year carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 450 people across the United States. And more than 20,000 are taken to the emergency room because of overexposure to the odorless gas.

Complying with the new state law is the easiest way to prevent poisonings, according to Doug Perry, San Diego Deputy Fire Chief. He said renters shouldn’t wait for their landlords to install monitors if they haven’t already.

“You as an individual should take it upon yourself – at least let the management group know that you know the law is in place," he said. "But act on this one quickly, go out and get your CO detectors, plug them in the wall, put them in the ceiling.”

Monitors should be placed between bedrooms and appliances that can create carbon monoxide like gas stoves furnaces, and water heaters as well as inside each bedroom, Perry said.

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