San Diego Real Estate Appraisals: Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most appraisals require a carbon monoxide detector to be installed at the time of the appraisal, however many people have only heard of carbon monoxide or CO2, but not everyone actually know what it really is. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, unscented, and flavorless gas which is produced whenever a fuel source is burned. The fuel sources include kerosene, oil, gas wood fires, and charcoal. The most common sources of carbon monoxide in homes are the malfunction of items such as gas furnaces, gas stoves, water heaters, and dryer.

This gas cannot be detected by the human senses, only a monitoring device known as a carbon monoxide detector can detect carbon in the air. Carbon monoxide can be fatal, causing deaths in minutes or hours depending on the amount of gas in the air. In lower to moderate amounts of concentration it can still cause flu-like symptoms, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Understanding the dangers of carbon monoxide should make the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in your home more obvious. Listed below are a few things to know about carbon monoxide detectors.

 Carbon monoxide detectors have many similarities to smoke detectors, such as the size, appearance, and cost.

 It is designed to measure carbon monoxide levels and sound an alarm before the levels become dangerous.

 The detector can be a battery-operated, plug-in to the wall, or an installed and wired through the AC (with or without a battery backup).

 Detectors can be placed near the ceiling or the floor due to the carbon monoxide being the same density as air.

 Under the law, the carbon monoxide detector alarm must sound when elevated levels of carbon monoxide are detected.

 Detectors that include both a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in the same device must provide distinct difference in the alarm sound between the two.

Many people are curious as to what the California law is regarding carbon monoxide detectors. As per The California Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, detectors are required to be installed in every single-family home, condominium, and any property used for human occupancy. The detector must be installed at the time the tenant takes possession of the property. There must be an approved device in dwellings that have a fossil fuel burning appliance, heaters, fireplaces or an attached garage.

As of July 1, 2011 this regulation meant all existing single family dwellings must comply. However as of January 1, 2013 all other residential units were required to comply. Currently, all residential units for human occupancy must have a carbon monoxide detector installed.

Building standards require a carbon monoxide detector to be placed on each level of the home and near the sleeping areas so that the alarm can be heard. The actual alarm, if separate, should be a minimum of six inches from exterior walls and three feet from supply or return vents.

The law states that it is the responsibility of the owner to install the device compliant with building codes before the tenant moves in. After which it then becomes the tenant’s responsibility to inform the owner if the device is missing or malfunctioning.

It is important to make sure you are in compliance with the California law regarding carbon monoxide detectors. If you are unsure of placement or reasons for a carbon monoxide detector in your home, contact a professional California Real Estate appraiser to help you. Lack of functional devices can lead to fines and also delay closings of a home sales.

I hope this information is helpful to you and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Brandlin Appraisals Inc. specialize in helping people who need appraisals for estate purposes, divorce, date of death, bankruptcy, FSBO’s and more throughout San Diego county. For more information please contact us at (760)741-7699, or visit our website at, or email us at


Mike Brandlin
San Diego, CA // Real Estate Appraiser
(760) 741-7699

San Diego Real Estate Appraisal Services For:
* Divorce Appraisals / Marriage Dissolution
* Bankruptcy Appraisals
* Bail Bonds Appraisals
* Estate / Date of Death / Retrospective Appraisals
* Financial Planning & Trusts
* PMI Removal Appraisals
* Pre-Foreclosure & Short Sales
* Tax Assessment Appeals
* Pre-Listing, Pre-Purchase, FSBO’s
* Probate Appraisals

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