What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that results from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such gas, propane, oil, wood, coal, and gasoline.
If your carbon monoxide detector activates, evacuate the building and dial 911 from a safe location!
Is carbon monoxide dangerous?
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an acceptable level of CO is a 15 parts per millions (PPM) average over a time span of eight hours or a 22 PPM average for an hour. If you have 1,000 PPM for over thirty minutes, it puts you at a high level of danger in the form of a collapse into a coma or permanent brain damage. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that results from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such gas, propane, oil, wood, coal, and gasoline.
Are carbon monoxide detectors required?
On November 4, 2005, Governor Romney signed “Nicole’s Law”, named after 7-year old Nicole Garofalo who died on January 28, 2005 when her Plymouth home was filled with deadly amounts of carbon monoxide on January 24. The furnace vents had been blocked by snow during a power outage.
For buildings with fossil-fuel burning equipment or enclosed parking areas, the new regulations require carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home and within ten feet of each sleeping area and in habitable portions of basements and attics. The CO detectors may be:
- Battery operated with battery monitoring; or
- Plug-ins with battery back-up; or
- Hard-wired with battery backup; or
- Low voltage system; or
- Wireless, or
- Qualified combination (smoke/carbon monoxide alarm)
Acceptable combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms must have simulated voice and tone alarms that clearly distinguish between the two types of emergencies. The State Building Code mandates that only photoelectric combination alarms are permitted within twenty feet of a bathroom or kitchen. All affected residences must install approved carbon monoxide alarms by March 31, 2006, although, where hard-wired systems are required, the deadline is January 1, 2007.
State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan indicated that the board is continuing to develop additional CO alarm requirements for certain transient residential buildings such as hotels and motels, in addition to requirements for certain institutional buildings. It is anticipated that the regulations for these types of buildings will be promulgated in the very near future in order to meet the statutes January 1, 2007 deadline.
Click here to view the full press release from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Information on this page is provided courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.