Century 21 Associates Realty LLC 
     Karen J. McLinden
      Phone 508-677-3233
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       657 Pleasant St., Fall River, MA 02721 
                                                                                                                                   
 
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MASSACHUSETTS NEW CARBON MONOXIDE LAW:

WHAT HOMEOWNERS NEED TO KNOW

On March 31, 2006, all homes in the Commonwealth equipped with fuel burning equipment that produces carbon monoxide

or which have indoor parking (a garage) adjacent to living areas will be required to have Carbon Monoxide detectors

installed. The law, and the regulations that implement it, apply to ALL homes and not just those that are being sold. Below

are some frequently asked questions by homeowners:

What is carbon monoxide (CO) and how is it produced in the home?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. Appliances fueled with natural gas, liquefied petroleum (LP

gas), oil, kerosene, coal, or wood may produce CO. The federal government estimates that over 500 people in the United

States die unintentionally every year from CO. Thousands people go to hospital emergency rooms for treatment for CO

poisoning.

As a Homeowner in the Commonwealth, what do I need to do to comply with this new law?

Prior to March 31, 2006 you must install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, excluding unfinished

basements, attics and crawl spaces. Detectors that are installed on levels of the home which contain sleeping areas must be

placed within ten feet of the bedroom door; therefore some homes may require more than one detector on certain levels.

What kind of Carbon Monoxide Detectors must I install in my home & how should I install a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

The law provides a choice to homeowners to install, by March 31, 2006, their choice of either battery operated, plug-in with

battery back-up, wireless detectors, a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector, or hard-wired detectors. These

detectors must be in compliance with Underwriter Laboratories (UL) standard 2034. The package the detector is sold in will

indicate whether it meets this standard. CO alarms should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Note:

There are specific requirements for combination alarms, before purchasing one please review the requirements of

combination alarms with your local fire department.

required to inspect each dwelling for compliance with the carbon monoxide law before sale.

We plan to build a new home in 2007, are there additional requirements for new construction? Are there any other laws I should know about?

The state building code will govern additional requirements for new construction. It is believed that it will require hardwired

carbon monoxide detectors for new constructions or for homes who undergo substantial renovations. More

Currently, there are

certain plumbing regulations which may require a hard-wired CO detector to be installed with certain appliances. For more

information check with the plumber who completes your installation. It is possible that your local city or town might have

enacted stricter requirements, therefore you should check with your local fire department.

WHAT LANDLORDS NEED TO KNOW

 Landlords

should review the statute and regulations and check with the local fire department to ensure ongoing compliance.  It is believed these requirements will be written into the sanitary code as well. Below are some frequently asked questions by landlords and property managers:

What kind of Carbon Monoxide Detectors must I install in my units & how should I install a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

The law provides a choice to landlords regarding compliance. The first option is installation of a single station CO detector,

by March 31, 2006, which is either battery operated, plug-in with battery back-up, wireless detectors, a combination

smoke/carbon monoxide detector, or hard-wired detectors. These detectors must be in compliance with Underwriter

Laboratories (UL) standard 2034. The package the detector is sold in will indicate whether it meets this standard. CO alarms

should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Note: There are specific requirements for combination

The second option is what is known as “alternative compliance.” This regulation will really only apply to large unit owners

with central heating or cooling systems that restrict the flow of air (and CO) to the units. Specifically the regulations require

the owner to install a sophisticated alarm system with specific monitoring and alarming transmission requirements which

must accompany approval from the fire department. Owners wishing to utilize the second compliance option must notify the

head of the local fire department by March 31, 2006 and will then be expected to complete the necessary installation by

January 1, 2007 and allow the fire department inspection to verify compliance. Like its inspections for smoke detectors, the

local fire department is required to inspect each dwelling for compliance with the carbon monoxide law before sale.

Are there additional responsibilities for landlords?

Yes. All landlords, owners, or property managers shall at a minimum, maintain, test, repair or replace, if necessary, every

carbon monoxide detector upon renewal of any lease term for all units or on an annual basis, whichever is more frequent.

Further, all CO detector batteries must be replaced on an annual basis by the landlord, owner or property manager.

*This publication is provided as a service to members of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS educational use only. Opinion or suggestions in this publication do not necessarily represent the official policies or positions of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS any misinterpretation or misapplication by the reader of the information contained in this article. The publishing of this material does not constitute the practice of law nor does it attempt to provide legal advice concerning any specific factual situation. FOR ADVICE ON SPECIFIC LEGAL PROBLEMS CONSULT LEGAL COUNSEL. Last revised 2/6/06

 

 

 

 

© 2013, Karen McLinden & Century 21 Real Estate LLC. CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark licensed to Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

 

© 2013, Karen McLinden & Century 21 Real Estate LLC. CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark licensed to Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.