Homes need carbon monoxide detectors by July 1 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Homes need carbon monoxide detectors by July 1

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Time is running out to get a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Starting Friday, it will be the law in California.

For people who live in condos, apartments or dormitories, carbon monoxide detectors are not mandatory until 2013, but for most people who live in homes, your deadline is Friday.

Although fire officials admit it will be difficult to enforce the new carbon monoxide monitor law, they say if you want to protect your family and avoid the possibility of a $200 fine, you'll install detectors in your home by July 1.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and responsible for causing between 30 to 40 deaths in California each year, most because people never know they are inhaling the silent killer.

"The typical thing that you might feel is you might think that you have flu symptoms, very severe headaches, a nauseated feeling in your stomach, even to the point that you become so sick that you start to vomit," Fire Marshal Doug Hall said.

California will join 24 other states in the U.S. with carbon monoxide laws. Detectors need to be installed in all single-family homes that have attached garages, fireplaces and fossil-burning furnaces.

The devices are available at hardware stores for between $20 and $90, but make sure you buy one that's certified.

"The one thing we would say from the fire department is make sure they have a state fire marshal stamp on the package. That will tell you that it's approved by the fire marshal so that you know it's going to do everything that it's intended to do," Hall said.

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