Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in homes in Florida?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

  • Florida Statute 553.885 states that any new home, or addition to a home, permitted on or after July 1, 2008, that has a fossil-fuel burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, or attached garage shall have a carbon monoxide alarm installed within 10 feet of each sleeping room. The statue allows the carbon monoxide alarm to be hard-wired (served by the home’s electrical system) or battery-powered. Also, a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is allowed at the required locations. 

   A remodeling that does not add square footage to the home does not have to meet this new requirement; but, it’s certainly a sensible safety upgrade to do along with the other improvements of a home remodeling project.

   The law came in response to the fact that carbon monoxide is the most common cause of accidental poisoning in America. According to the Florida Department of Health, over 500 people each year die from it and thousands more require emergency medical care. Here’s the text of the statute:

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553.885 Carbon monoxide alarm required.—

(1) Every separate building or addition to an existing building, other than a hospital, an inpatient hospice facility, or a nursing home facility licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration, constructed on or after July 1, 2008, and having a fossil-fuel-burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, an attached garage, or other feature, fixture, or element that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion shall have an approved operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping purposes in the new building or addition, or at such other locations as required by the Florida Building Code. The requirements of this subsection may be satisfied with the installation of a hard-wired or battery-powered carbon monoxide alarm or a hard-wired or battery-powered combination carbon monoxide and smoke alarm. For a new hospital, an inpatient hospice facility, a nursing home facility licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration, or a new state correctional institution, an approved operational carbon monoxide detector shall be installed inside or directly outside of each room or area within the hospital or facility where a fossil-fuel-burning heater, engine, or appliance is located. This detector shall be connected to the fire alarm system of the hospital or facility as a supervisory signal. This subsection does not apply to existing buildings that are undergoing alterations or repairs unless the alteration is an addition as defined in subsection (3).

(2) The Florida Building Commission shall adopt rules to administer this section and shall incorporate such requirements into its next revision of the Florida Building Code.

(3) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Carbon monoxide alarm” means a device that is meant for the purpose of detecting carbon monoxide, that produces a distinct audible alarm, and that meets the requirements of and is approved by the Florida Building Commission.

(b) “Fossil fuel” means coal, kerosene, oil, fuel gases, or other petroleum or hydrocarbon product that emits carbon monoxide as a by-product of combustion.

(c) “Addition” means an extension or increase in floor area, number of stories, or height of a building or structure.

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   A hard-wired and interconnectable carbon monoxide and smoke alarm currently costs about $50. Because smoke alarms are required to be interconnected and placed in the access area near the bedrooms and also inside the bedrooms, we often see combination alarms in the access rooms (to comply with the “within 10 feet of each sleeping room” requirement for carbon monoxide alarms) and interconnected smoke alarms installed in the bedrooms.

    Also, see our blog post Where are smoke alarms required to be located?

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about SAFETY: 

Why is it important to use "cabinet screws" to mount the upper cabinets in the kitchen?

Is the door between an attached garage and the house required to have a closer (self-closing device)?

Can the smoke sensors in a home security/fire alarm system replace the smoke alarms required by the building code?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house? 

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

What is aging in place? 

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

Does pushing the test button on a smoke alarm test the smoke sensor device inside? 

What is the minimum height of a ceiling fan above the floor?

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the kitchen? 

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard? 

Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

What can I do to avoid kitchen accidents and injuries?

Are old vinyl tile floors dangerous?  

How can I use safety checks to limit my tenant liability for a rental house?

Do you inspect for trip hazards around the home? 

When should I replace my smoke alarms?

• Why is an anti-tip device now required behind the range? 

• What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
    Visit our SAFETY page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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