Carbon Monoxide Laws

Don't let the beep steal your sleep! Remember the law, it's time to replace your CO alarms.

CO Laws and Legislation

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a scary thought, but homeowners can take simple steps to help ensure they will be alerted to emergency situations with the proper installation and maintenance of CO alarms.

Carbon Monoxide Laws

State and local governments across the U.S. have recognized the importance of CO alarms and have created new legislation to help increase the number of CO alarms required in homes across the country.


In 2011, 48 states across the nation adopted new building codes that made it the law that carbon monoxide alarms are required for all one- and two-story family homes. However, CO legislation goes beyond 2011, in total, 47 U.S. states have passed legislation requiring carbon monoxide detectors in homes.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors for Your Home

There are multiple types of carbon monoxide alarms that can be installed in your home. The most common is the alarms that plug in to your wall. First Alert also offers a portable carbon monoxide alarm that has a 10-year battery and a digital temperature display. This alarm is perfect for any living area or bedroom, and can be placed on a shelf, coffee table, or can even be mounted on the wall. You can also get combination smoke and CO alarms. These alarms are mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling. Contrary to popular belief, carbon monoxide alarms are still just as effective when mounted in these places.

Plug-In CO Alarm

Plug-In CO Alarms

Portable CO Alarms

Portable CO Alarms

Combonation Alarms

Combination Alarms

It is important to install CO alarms on every level and in every bedroom of your home. Carbon monoxide can be produced by any fuel burning device, so it is critical you have multiple alarms around your house for extra safety. It is recommended that you have at least one carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house and in every bedroom or sleeping area. Having multiple alarms placed in the home is important to ensure a carbon monoxide emergency can be detected as soon as possible, no matter where the leak originates, and that all family members can be alerted in a timely manner.


Just remember that detectors don’t last forever. You must regularly test and replace batteries in your alarm to make sure they are working properly. Also, carbon monoxide alarm have an average lifespan of 5 to 10 years, so you must replace the whole alarm at the end of its life.

Where to install CO alarms