Carbon monoxide alarm law change will soon be in effect

Published 5:29 am Wednesday, September 14, 2022

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has issued guidance to the housing and real estate industry to assist them with preparing for an upcoming change in the law regarding the presence of carbon monoxide alarms in homes across Louisiana.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, the State Fire Marshal’s Office collaborated with State Rep. Stephanie Hilferty (R-Metairie) to develop and pass what is now Act 458. Simply put, any house sold or leased after Jan. 1, 2023, will need to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm in the home.

In addition, the Louisiana Uniform Construction Code Council adopted an amendment to the state’s residential building code requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed at the same time a whole home, standby generator is installed. That change also goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

“These changes are the direct result of the tragic aftermath of the 2020 and 2021 hurricane disasters across our state that saw more than a dozen carbon monoxide-related deaths and dozens more hospitalizations, all attributed to both portable and standby generator use,” said State Fire Marshal Dan Wallis. “We’re grateful to the housing and real estate industry for being proactive ahead of the law change to ensure everyone is appropriately educated on this effort to save lives well before the law goes into effect.”

 

CO DETECTOR RECOMMENDATIONS

▪ When only one CO detector is required, its best location is near a sleeping area,

preferably within 10 feet of a bedroom door.

▪ Ideally, a CO detector should be located on every occupied level of your home,

especially occupied levels with fuel-burning appliances. The CO detector should be

placed within 10 feet of each bedroom door (inside or outside of the room), within 10

feet of the door to an attached garage, and inside of any rooms located over an

attached garage. CO detectors should NOT be placed inside of an attached garage.

▪ CO detectors should NOT be placed directly above or beside fuel-fired, heating, or

cooking appliances or in or near humid areas like bathrooms. A CO detector should be

placed at a distance of at least 15 feet or farther from these appliances and fireplaces.

▪ CO detectors should NOT be placed next to a window or exterior door.

▪ Installation heights vary by manufacturer. Therefore, it is advised to read the provided

installation manual for each detector before placement.

▪ Choose placement locations that are free of obstructions where the detector will stay

clean and protected from adverse environmental conditions.

 

SMOKE DETECTOR REQUIREMENTS

 

Act 163 of the 2009 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (R.S. 40:1581 (C)

and (D)) revised the previous law regarding smoke detectorsthat had been effective since

January 1992. Act 163, which became effective in January 2011, expanded the law to

require smoke detectors in all one-and-two family dwellings at the time of sale or lease

and requires:

▪ At a minimum, one operable 10-year, sealed lithium battery smoke detector.

 

SMOKE DETECTOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

▪ One smoke detector should be placed on every occupied level of a home, inside of

every bedroom, and outside of sleeping areas, like a hallway, as well as in a common

area like a living room.

▪ Smoke detectors should be mounted five inches from the corners of a room or five

inches from where the ceiling and side walls meet.

 

As always, the SFM stresses the need for having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in a home regardless of any law requirements. If a resident needs assistance obtaining a smoke alarm, the SFM’s Operation Save-A-Life can help.

Visit lasfm.org for more information on the program.

 

 

Chief Dan Wallis is the Louisiana State Fire Marshal. The following representatives serve as points of contact for carbon monoxide alarms: Chief Deputy Erin St. Pierre- erin.e.st.pierre@la.gov or 225-955-0508 / Public Affairs Director Ashley Rodrigue- ashley.rodrigue@la.gov or 225-620-5115.