The Florida carbon monoxide law requires that operational carbon monoxide detectors be installed in buildings constructed on or after July 1, 2008. The law also requires that buildings who have additions built on or after July 1, 2008 have carbon monoxide alarms installed. The buildings that are required to have CO alarms must have a fossil-fuel burning appliance, fireplace, an attached garage, or anything that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct.

The law requires that the carbon monoxide detectors be installed within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping, but this only applies to buildings that are not hospitals, inpatient hospice care centers, or nursing care centers. We’ll get to those later. The carbon monoxide alarm may be hard-wired or battery-operated. It may either be strictly a CO alarm or be a combination hard-wired or battery-powered CO and smoke alarm.

The law itself defines certain terms. An addition is meant to mean “an extension or increase in floor area, number of stories, or height of a building or structure.” Alterations or repairs that are not additions do not apply under this law.

Carbon monoxide alarm is defined as “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.” A story recently in Gizmodo revealed that some cheap, unbranded carbon monoxide alarms don’t work, so be careful. Fossil fuel is defined to mean “coal, kerosene, oil, fuel gases, or other petroleum or hydrocarbon product that emits carbon monoxide as a by-product of combustion.”

For all new hospitals, inpatient hospice facilities, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, the law requires that an operational carbon monoxide detector be installed inside or directly outside each room or area of a hospital or facility that has a fossil fuel-burning appliance, heater, or engine. The alarm should be connected to the fire alarm system of the hospital or facility.

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