Carbon Monoxide Alarms Now Required by Law for All Homes in California

As of January 2011, the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act became California State Law, requiring carbon monoxide detectors and alarms be installed in every new home. Effective July 1, 2011 all existing homes are required to have carbon monoxide alarms. According to KCRA News in Sacramento, First Alert, a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm manufacturer, has reported that 80% of California homes still do not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed, despite this new law having gone into effect.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a result of carbon monoxide competing with oxygen to bind to red blood cells. Because carbon monoxide binds more tightly to red blood cells, we become deprived of oxygen, resulting in flu-like symptoms or even death.

Our very own Elizabeth Bryan was recently interviewed by KCRA about her own personal brush with carbon monoxide poisoning. She and her family had been suffering from flu-like symptoms. She noticed that the CO detector in her basement had been disconnected while she was having some work done on her family’s home. Her basement was so saturated with carbon monoxide that when she plugged her device back in, the alarm sounded immediately.  Whether it’s a law or not, Bryan urges everyone to do what it takes to get a carbon monoxide alarm for their home. “It’s the simplest, easiest way to prevent a death,” said Bryan.

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home?