During the home buying process, the buyer is going to have to review and sign many notices. Amongst them is the Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Notice. Long Beach in particular has it’s own set of rules regarding these two types of detectors. What is this and why does it impact you?
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Notice
What is it?
I’m glad you asked. To get a better understand, let’s dip our toes into the pool of history and understand the function and law surrounding these two types of detectors.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, smoke detectors have been with us for a while. The device is installed on the ceiling and is either battery powered or wired directly to the electricity. When it detects smoke, an alarm goes off. When the battery goes dead, usually in the middle of the night, then the detector sends out a series of warning beeps.
Believe it or nuts, a time existed where smoke detectors were not required in homes. In 1973, a law was enacted that required one smoke detector be installed in all homes: both new and old. Since then, several versions of the law have made smoke detectors required in multiple rooms and, as the most recent, battery powered detectors must have a lifespan of 10 years. Now they’ve even gone high tech in that battery smoke detectors are now wireless and interconnected. If one of them goes off, they all go on. Get your ear plugs!
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Requirements for Carbon Monoxide detectors did not happen until more recently. In 2011, CO detectors became a requirement that if you had a house with a garage or a fossil fuel heater (gas heat). If you’re burning fossil fuels, then you’re producing Carbon Monoxide. Normal use of appliances does not result in toxic levels. When appliances are not functioning properly then they can produce excess levels and that is bad. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless therein lies the requirement to have one.
Two in One
Since both are required, manufacturers figured out a way to put both detectors into a single unit. Currently, Long Beach code requires a CO detector to be installed in the hallway in front of the bedrooms. Currently. The law could change next year. If you only see on detector, look closely to ensure that it is both a carbon monoxide detector as well as a smoke detector. Don’t assume. It should be clearly identified.
Why a Notice?
A notice is usually the result of a lawsuit, much like a disclosure. The notice alerts both the buyer and the seller to any codes, laws, etc. that are around the subject of the notice. In this case, the Carbon Monoxide Smoke Detector Notice focuses on both types of detectors. It is not one document but rather two that must be signed and dated by both parties in escrow.
The notice alerts both parties as to
- Where detectors are to be installed
- How many are to be installed
- What types are to be installed
How This Impacts You During Escrow
The Carbon Monoxide Smoke Detector Notice is there for your safety. Obviously an investment at the local hardware store can make a home compliant. One thing to point out is that lenders (who control the money) will not fund a loan if the residence is not safe to be occupied. They consider the proper installation and operation of detectors to be a safety issue. If you are considering selling your home, invest the money now into detectors and save yourself the hassle during escrow.
The Carbon Monoxide Smoke Detector Notices are designed to inform, educate and, if necessary, create action designed with the safety of everyone in mind. Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, hallway and main living area. The City of Long Beach has its own set of local ordinances around these two types of detectors and this is what you (and contractors) should be following.