If your home is at least intended for human occupancy, start thinking about carbon monoxide detectors

As we roll merrily along, on final approach to the New Year, and prepare to bid adieu to the train wreck that was 2010, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about that one thing that is on everyone’s minds.

Carbon monoxide detectors.

OK, I’m guessing this was the furthest thing from your mind today. But, having spent the better part of the last week in solitary confinement while some exotic flu or infection did a tap dance on my general well being, not to mention my productivity, this is about all I can muster.

If you will be buying or selling in 2011, you should be aware of SB 183, The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, which says:

Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed for all existing single-family dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before July 1, 2011, OR for all other existing dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before January 1, 2013.

At first blush, I thought this bill would not apply to me (because of the part about human occupancy), but if you read carefully, it applies to any home “intended” for human occupancy. One could argue that my home indeed qualifies, since “suitable for” and “intended for” are two different concepts entirely.

While we have six months to download the driving directions to our nearest Home Depot, the presence or absence of carbon monoxide detectors is a disclosure requirement effective immediately, so you can bet that buyers will be wanting those guys even before the July 1st magic date.

Strictly speaking, the law applies to all homeowners, not just those anticipating a title transfer. And, I rather doubt that the State will be making random compliance checks or even providing a hotline for concerned citizens to “out” their non-complying neighbors. Even so, carbon monoxide detectors are a good idea — unless, apparently, you are the government.

In a weak attempt to make this more interesting than it is, be aware of the fine print:

“Dwelling unit intended for human occupancy” does not mean a property owned or leased by the state, the Regents of the University of California, or a local governmental agency.

This might make sense, but right now I’m just feeling too crummy to find the logic.

Get your Instant Home Value…