Effective today, contractors will be required to install carbon monoxide alarms into all multi-dwelling units, such as apartments.
The law is a further update of a law that took effect in July 2011, which required installation in all single-family housing structures, according to Barbara Bashall, executive director of the Nevada County Contractors Association.
Unlike many of the regulations that are implemented by the state of California every three years, the new law will not be financially onerous for contractors or homeowners, Bashall said.
Each year in the United States, an average of 450 deaths and more than 20,000 emergency room visits occur as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a recent news release issued by First Alert.
The winter months are a particularly dangerous time, as fresh air is less likely to circulate in homes.
Nearly 75 percent of exposure to the deadly colorless and odorless gas occur in the home and about 41 percent of that exposure occurs in the winter months of December, January and February, the release said.
To avoid problems, all fuel-burning devices should be serviced by a qualified technician every year, and generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices should only be used outdoors.
Running vehicles in an attached garage should be avoided at all costs, and alarms should be installed outside of each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
In 2010, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District reported a spate of carbon monoxide-related incidents.