BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 183
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   July 15, 2009

                                Kevin De Leon, Chair

                   SB 183 (Lowenthal) - As Amended:  June 22, 2009 

          Policy Committee:                             Housing and  
          Community Development                         Vote: 7-3

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


          This bill requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in  
          existing dwellings intended for human occupancy that have a  
          fossil fuel burning appliance, a fireplace, or an attached  
          garage beginning in 2011. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Applies to existing single family dwellings, factory built  
            homes, duplexes, lodging homes, dormitories, apartment  
            complexes, hotels, motels, condominiums, stock cooperatives,   
            time-share projects, and dwelling units of multi-family  
            complexes.  Exempts property owned or leased by the state, the  
            Regents of the University of California, or a local government  

          2)Requires installation by January 1, 2011 for single family  
            homes, and by January 1, 2012 for other dwellings.

          3)Requires the State Fire Marshal to certify and approve carbon  
            monoxide devices and their instructions. 

          4)Requires an owner of rental units to test and maintain the CO  
            devices in the dwelling units. 

          5)Provides that if the Department of Housing & Community  
            Development (HCD) in consultation with the SFM determines that  
            there are not enough tested and approved CO devices on the  
            market by the date that the devices are required to be  
            installed in existing dwellings, HCD may suspend enforcement  
            of the Act for six months. 

          6)Provides that if the California Building Standards Commission  


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            (CBSC) adopts building standards relating to CO devices, an  
            owner is not required to install a new device meeting those  
            requirements until the owner makes an application for a permit  
            for alterations to a dwelling of more than $1000.

          7)Revises existing transfer disclosure statements to include  
            information about CO devices on the property.

           FISCAL EFFECT 

          One time cost of $10,000 to the State Fire Marshal to develop a  
          certification and decertification process for carbon monoxide  

           1)Background  . The California Building Standards Law establishes  
            the California Building Standards Commission and a process for  
            adopting state building standards. Under this process,  
            relevant state agencies propose amendments to model building  
            codes, which the Building Standards Commission must then  
            adopt, modify, or reject. The Department of Housing and  
            Community Development is the relevant state agency for  
            residential building standards.

            Building standards are generally prospective in that they only  
            apply to new construction or to existing buildings that  
            undergo alteration or rehabilitation. There are, however, some  
            exceptions to this general rule. For example, current law  
            requires that all water heaters in existing residential  
            structures be braced, anchored, or strapped to resist falling  
            or horizontal displacement due to earthquake motion.  Current  
            law also requires that smoke detectors be installed in all  
            existing multifamily residential dwellings and in single  
            family dwellings which are sold.
          2)Rationale  . The purpose of the bill is to reduce emergencies  
            and deaths associated with carbon monoxide poisoning. The  
            author's office cites California Air Resource Board estimates  
            that carbon monoxide is responsible for 30 to 40 avoidable  
            deaths in California each year, and asserts that carbon  
            monoxide detectors provide highly effective and low cost  
            protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.
          3)Previous legislation  . This bill is similar to SB 1386  
            (Lowenthal) from the 2007-08 session. That measure required  


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            installation of CO devices in existing dwellings and directed  
            the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop  
            additional building standards concerning specific installation  
            requirements for these devices on newly constructed  

            The governor vetoed SB 1386, stating that building standards  
            should not be placed in statute, but rather should be  
            developed through the existing regulatory process. The author  
            attempts to address the governor's concern by limiting the  
            application of this bill's provisions to existing dwellings -  
            which are not subject to the existing regulatory process - and  
            allowing the current building standards process to determine  
            standards for new construction.  HCD is currently in the  
            process updating the building standards codes to incorporate  
            carbon monoxide device installation requirements for new  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Brad Williams / APPR. / (916) 319-2081