A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about two boaters and a dog that died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Tennessee. The carbon monoxide law in Tennessee does not require carbon monoxide detectors on boats. In fact, it did not require a carbon monoxide detector in homes with fuel-burning appliances until recently.

Starting in January 2016, the state fire marshal required carbon monoxide detectors to be installed within ten feet of each sleeping room in every hotel or building with a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, attached garage, or any feature that emits carbon monoxide gas as a byproduct of combustion.

Another law applies specifically to hotels built before January 2016. It states that it is unlawful to own or operate a hotel with a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, attached garage, or any feature that emits carbon monoxide gas as a byproduct of combustion without installing a carbon monoxide detector. The alarms are required to be installed within ten feet of each room used for sleeping purposes. To knowingly tamper with or remove a CO alarm is considered unlawful.

It is great that they don’t have laws limited to new construction of hotels but that they also include hotels built before January 2016. However, the absence of other kinds of buildings from this law, such as apartment buildings, is concerning.

The welfare of the people needs to be at the heart of the states’ carbon monoxide laws, not solely the avoidance of liability for property owners. The previous law also states that the owner of the hotel is responsible for ensuring the CO alarms are operational at all times.

In addition to these laws, Tennessee also has a law in place that requires carbon monoxide detectors in daycares. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups of the population to carbon monoxide poisoning. It is good that the law requires CO alarms in daycare facilities.

The state also requires carbon monoxide alarms in recreational vehicles that are rented or leased.

4 replies
  1. Kerman le Boeuf
    Kerman le Boeuf says:

    I recently bought a home built 1994 which does NOT have a co2 detector. What Tn. state requires one and the state law number?

    Reply
  2. Melissa A Broz
    Melissa A Broz says:

    Hi, where is the law about carbon monoxide in daycares? I can’t find it anywhere in the state codes/laws for Tennessee

    Reply

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