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City of Austin Carbon Monoxide Ordinance

Are you aware there is a new City of Austin ordinance?

Beginning April 1, 2018 (yes, April 1st and this isn’t an April Fool’s joke), carbon monoxide detectors will be required to be installed in almost all Austin homes.

Does my home need a carbon monoxide detector installed? 

  • There is a gas or fuel-burning appliance in the home (examples: gas stove, gas dryer, fireplace, gas-powered furnace, etc); or
  • The home is directly connected to a garage (i.e.  there is a door leading to the garage from kitchen, utility room or other portion of the house).

If your home is equipped with a noted gas appliance above or the home is connected to the garage, then one or more carbon monoxide detectors will now be required.

Where do I need to install the carbon monoxide detector in my home to ensure it meets the ordinance requirements?

The City of Austin states “a carbon monoxide detector must be installed near bedroom if there is anything in your home that uses fuel or gas, as well as inside the bedroom if the room has or connects to a room that has fuel or gas.”

Check the manufactures recommendations regarding placement if you have multiple stories or are unsure where exactly to place the detectors.  Keep in mind the Austin Fire Department (AFD) doesn’t recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector near an air vent or fan, but rather place them in the center of the room where they can measure the greatest atmosphere or around 15 feet from the heat source within the home.  To gather more information provided by AFD visit the Austin Fire Department website.

Does the carbon monoxide detector need to be wired to the house?  

No.  The only requirement for hard wiring is if the home was originally built to accommodate a wired system.  If your home doesn’t offer hard wiring, then a battery powered carbon monoxide detector is sufficient.  Just be sure to replace the batteries twice a year (January 1 and July 1) to ensure the device is fully operational.  The same applies with those pesky smoke detectors.

Can you use a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector?

Yes.  A combo unit is sufficient to meet the ordinance requirements.  Be sure to boogie over to the Austin Fire Department website to obtain information on different types of carbon monoxide detectors and what to look for in a detector if you should decide against purchasing on the recommended models.

Do I have to install a carbon monoxide detector if I live outside the City of Austin? 

Not necessarily, but we encourage you to do so regardless if you have a gas appliance in your home or your garage is connected to the structure.  It’s a small price to pay to keep your family safe and sound especially if you have wee ones or older folks in the household.