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Amandas Law
Carbon monoxide alarm requirements to go into effect February 22, 2010


As the result of legislation, Amandas Law will go into effect on February 22, 2010. It requires essentially all residences, both new and existing, to have carbon monoxide alarms installed. The specific requirements differ for new and existing residences and also on when the buildings were built and subcategories of occupancy groups.

Probably the most asked question will be the requirement for existing one and two family residences. They will be required to have one carbon monoxide alarm installed on the lowest story having a sleeping area.

The proposal to modify the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, in order to comply with Amanda's Law, is in the process of being adopted as an emergency rule. The following link provides the proposed code text and legislation, Amandas Law.

http://www.dos.state.ny.us/code/COAlarm.htm

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Is Carbon Monoxide (in this situation) caused by a leaking gas flue or something like that?


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The Florida CO detector statute says any dwelling with an attached garage, fossil fuel appliance or fire place.
That pretty much sums up the fear. They also recommend a CO detector for anyone with a portable generator.


Greg Fretwell
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Originally Posted by gfretwell

That pretty much sums up the fear.

Fear of what?
CO is a very dangerous gas, it is silent in it's movement, it moves from the ground up, it excludes oxygen to three parts of itself.
It will put you to sleep before it kills you. frown

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I suppose that is what they call a rhetorical question wink

You answered it, anyway.

Since we have so many houses that don't really have a source of CO (all electric, no fireplace, no garage) they worded the law to acknowledge that. Unfortunately the biggest cause of CO poisoning is people running their generator near an open window or in the garage after a hurricane.
They want it where they can keep an eye on it so someone won't steal it.
I had to hollar at my ex wife about the same thing. She told me she bought a generator and was planning on running it in the garage. I warned her about the danger and reminded her there was a steel ring cast in the brick wall next to the driveway (for my motorcycle) that she could use to chain it up outside. I had left a 3/8" hardened chain and a high security padlock on the wall in the garage.


Greg Fretwell
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Responding to Mike's question ....

The CO laws are introduced with good intentions. It is ironic that one of the primary causes of CO in the house these days is the direct result of other well-intentioned requlations. Indeed, these 'unexpected consequences' are one reason I am so adamant about restricting the role of regulation in our lives.

In the late '70's, the 'energy crisis' led to folks taking extreme measures to seal their homes in an effort to reduce their heating bills. This emphasis is carried on today in the latest spate of 'energy' regulations ("cash for caulkers") and the LEED program. There are even firms that pressure-test buildings for leaks.

The caulking madness of the '70's was followed by the 'toxic mold' issue of the '80's. This led to a renewed emphasis on bath fans, kitchen exhaust fans, and such. The "Mechanical" code upped it's requirements for exhaust air.

Does anyone see the problem yet?

When you try to pull air out of a sealed house, you create a vacuum. This in turn results in the flow from your various flue pipes to reverse. In order for the fresh air to enter, first the exhaust gasses have to be pulled into the house. Voila! CO problems.

How bad can this be? I've seen one job where this back-draft was strong enough to prevent a commercial gas water heater from fully igniting, even though the flue was both large and straight- and this was with a fully open door between the water heater and the exhaust fan! In this instance, the 'exhaust fan' was the air conditioning system.

So, Mike ... consider that under today's construction practices you can have a CO problem precisely because everything is working 'right.' With the current political emphasis on sealing your home, expect the problem to worsen.

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John, For older systems true.
The newer systems all require a make up air source.

Ironic: seal the house up tight,then install exhaust!
Ummm,I'm no engineer but... aint that as bad as a leaky window? smile

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It pretty much implies leaky windows, otherwise the house would become a vacuum and everyone in it would suffocate.

Toxic fumes from paint and cleaning products, etc are a similar issue- they just get circulated forever.

The "right" solution would be to mandate fresh air ventilation be incorporated into home HVAC systems like they do in commercial designs. So, you turn on an exhaust fan, you draw in fresh outside air through the HVAC system that conditions it before dumping it into the house, etc. Nobody wants to do this because it's sounds like you're wasting energy, but it's just one of those things you need to do to prevent a sick home.

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Just to clarify: my response was an attempt to explain to Mike that even a properly installed and maintained appliance can become the source of CO, when other parts of the house create the right conditions.

Much of the CO propaganda has been accompanied by illustrations of falling-apart furnaces, etc. My point is that even a perfect furnace, water heater, or range can create the hazard.

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