Warning from Menlo Park Real Estate Attorney: California homeowners will soon be required to install carbon monoxide detectors.

Starting in July 1, 2011 all existing single-family homes that have fossil-fuel burning appliances, fireplaces, and/or an attached garage must install a carbon monoxide detector.  As of January 1, 2013, all other types of housing, such as apartments and hotels, must have one installed.

The detector must sound an audible warning once carbon monoxide is detected. It also must be powered by a battery, or if it is plugged in, have a battery for a backup. The detector also must be certified by national testing labs, such as the Underwriters Laboratories.

California real estate attorney Gary Brainin warns that not only must you install one in your own home, you must install one in any rental unit you own.  It will be your responsibility, not your tenant’s.

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