BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 183
          Author:   Lowenthal (D), et al
          Amended:  3/25/10
          Vote:     21

          AYES:  Lowenthal, Ashburn, DeSaulnier, Kehoe, Oropeza,  
            Pavley, Simitian, Wolk
          NOES:  Huff, Harman, Hollingsworth

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  4-1, 4/28/09
          AYES:  Corbett, Harman, Florez, Leno
          NOES:  Walters  
           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           SENATE FLOOR  :  21-12, 5/28/09
          AYES:  Alquist, Ashburn, Cedillo, Corbett, Correa,  
            DeSaulnier, Florez, Hancock, Kehoe, Leno, Liu, Lowenthal,  
            Maldonado, Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Romero,  
            Simitian, Steinberg, Wiggins, Yee
          NOES:  Aanestad, Benoit, Cogdill, Cox, Denham, Dutton,  
            Hollingsworth, Huff, Runner, Strickland, Walters, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Calderon, Ducheny, Harman, Oropeza,  
            Wolk, Wright, Vacancy

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  47-20, 4/12/10 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Residential building safety

           SOURCE  :     California Coalition for Childrens Safety and  


                                                                SB 183

                      California State Firefighters Association

           DIGEST  :    This bill enacts the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning  
          Prevention Act of 2010 (Act) requiring all existing  
          dwellings intended for human occupancy that have a fossil  
          fuel burning appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage  
          to install a carbon monoxide device.

           Assembly amendments  change the timeframe for which an  
          approved carbon monoxide (CO) device is required to be  
          installed in all existing single-family dwelling units from  
          January 1, 2011 to July 1, 2011, and in all other dwellings  
          intended for human occupancy from January 1, 2012 to  
          January 1, 2013.  In addition, the amendments require the  
          State Fire Marshall's certification and decertification  
          process for CO devices include a review of the  
          manufacturer's instructions and ensure their consistency  
          with building standards applicable to new construction for  
          the relevant type of occupancy with respect to number and  

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Requires a transferor to deliver a statutory transfer  
             disclosure statement, and other disclosures, as soon as  
             practicable before transfer of title, or close of  
             escrow, when transferring real property, except in  
             certain cases, and manufactured homes or mobilehomes,  
             provided that the sale or lease with an option to  
             purchase involves an agent.  

          2. Requires a seller of a single-family dwelling disclose  
             to a transferee that he/she has installed an operable  
             smoke detector in the home as required by law.  

          3. Requires that smoke detectors be installed in all  
             single-family dwellings that are sold.  

          4. Provides that no transfer of title is invalidated on the  
             basis of a failure to comply with this requirement and  


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             the exclusive remedy for failure to comply is an award  
             of actual damages not to exceed $100, exclusive of any  
             court costs and attorney's fees.

          5. Provides that a transfer shall not be invalidated solely  
             because any person failed to comply with the transfer  
             disclosure requirements described above.  However, any  
             person who willfully or negligently violates or fails to  
             perform a required duty is liable in the amount of  
             actual damages suffered by a transferee.

          6. Requires an owner of rental property to install a smoke  
             detector in a dwelling unit and permits the owner or his  
             or her agent to enter a unit to install, maintain,  
             repair, or test the detector.  A tenant must notify the  
             owner of an inoperable smoke detector and the owner must  
             correct any deficiencies.  

          7. Permits a landlord to enter a dwelling unit only with  
             reasonable notice and during normal business hours  
             except in cases of emergency or where the tenant  
             consents to an entry during other than normal business  
             hours at the time of the entry.  

          This bill:

          1. Requires a CO device that has been approved by the State  
             Fire Marshall (SFM) to be installed in any existing  
             dwelling intended for human occupancy that has a fossil  
             fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an  
             attached garage within the earliest applicable timeframe  
             as follows:

             A.    For all existing single-family dwelling units  
                intended for human occupancy on or before January  
                1, 2011.

             B.    For all other dwellings intended for human  
                occupancy on or before July 1, 2013. 

          2. Makes legislative findings regarding the number of  
             deaths due to CO poisoning, the chronic health effects  
             of prolonged exposure to CO, and the benefit of  
             equipping homes with CO detectors.


                                                                SB 183

          3. Defines a "carbon monoxide device" as a device that  
             meets all of the following requirements:

             A.    Detects CO and produces a distinct audible  

             B.    Is battery powered, a plug in device with a  
                battery backup or installed as recommended by  
                Standard 720 of the National Fire Protection  
                Association that is either wired into the  
                alternating current power line of the dwelling unit  
                with a secondary battery backup or connected to a  
                system via a panel.

             C.    Has been tested and certified pursuant to the  
                requirements of the American National Standards  
                Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories Inc.  
                (UL), by a nationally recognized testing laboratory  
                as specified.

             D.    If combined with a smoke detector the device  

                (1)      Meet the standards that apply to CO alarms  
                   as described in the Act.

                (2)      Meet the standards that apply to smoke  

                (3)      Emit an alarm or voice warning in a manner  
                   that clearly differentiates between a CO alarm  
                   and a smoke detector warning.

          4. Defines "dwelling unit intended for human occupancy" to  
             include single family dwelling, factory built home,  
             duplex, lodging house, dormitory apartment complex,  
             hotel, motel, condominium, stock cooperate, time-share  
             project or dwelling unit of a multi-family complex.   
             Exempts a property owned or leased by the state, the  
             Regents of the University of California, or a local  
             government agency. 

          5. Defines "fossil fuel" to mean coal, kerosene, oil, wood,  


                                                                SB 183

             fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon product  
             which emit CO as a byproduct of combustion. 

          6. Requires the SFM to develop a certification and  
             decertification process to approve and list CO devices  
             that must include consideration of the effectiveness and  
             reliability, including their propensity to record false  

          7. Requires the certification and decertification process  
             of CO devices to include review of the manufacturer's  
             instructions to insure that they are consistent with  
             building standards for new construction regarding the  
             number and placement of CO devices. 

          8. Permits the SFM to charge an appropriate fee to the  
             manufacturer of a CO device to cover the cost associated  
             with approving and listing CO devices.

          9. Prohibits the sale or distribution of CO devices in the  
             state unless the device has been approved and listed by  
             the SFM.

          10.Requires an owner to adhere to the building standards  
             applicable to new construction or manufacturer  
             instructions when determining the number and placement  
             of CO devices in a dwelling.

          11.Provides a violation of this Act is punishable by a  
             maximum fine of $200 for each offense.

          12.Requires a resident of a single-family home to receive a  
             30-day notice to correct a violation of this Act prior  
             to being assessed a fine. 

          13.Allows a local jurisdiction to enact or amend an  
             ordinance requiring CO devices that is consistent with  
             the Act. 

          14.Requires an owner of rental units to test and maintain  
             the CO device in that dwelling unit.

          15.Allows an owner to enter into a rental unit to test and  
             maintain a CO device. 


                                                                SB 183

          16.Requires an owner of a rental unit to give a tenant  
             twenty-four hours notice, except in an emergency, before  
             entering the unit to install, repair, test or maintain a  
             CO device.

          17.Requires a tenant to notify the manager or owner of a  
             rental unit if the CO device does not work.

          18.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.

          19.Requires HCD, if a decision to delay installation of CO  
             devices is made, to post a notice on the Secretary of  
             State's Internet Web site that describes the findings  
             and decision.

          20.Provides that if the California Building Standards  
             Commission (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 requires to  
             a dwelling of more than $1,000. 

          21.Revises the statutory transfer disclosure statement that  
             the seller of a manufactured home or a one- to four-unit  
             residential property must provide to a buyer by:

             A.    Requiring the seller to check-off whether or not  
                the property has one or more CO devices.

             B.    Adding a footnote to the form advising buyers  
                that installation of a CO device is not a  
                precondition of sale.

             C.    Requiring a seller to certify as opposed to  
                check-off on the list of present items, that the  
                property is in compliance with laws requiring smoke  
                detectors and the bracing of water heaters.


                                                                SB 183

          On November 27, 2007, the Senate Committee on  
          Transportation and Housing held an informational hearing  
          entitled "Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning."  The  
          purpose was to hear from experts on the dangers of carbon  
          monoxide poisoning and consider whether California should  
          require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in  
          dwellings.  The committee staff made several findings upon  
          conclusion of the hearing, including that "[c]arbon  
          monoxide poisoning is generally preventable through better  
          education of consumers and improved maintenance of  
          combustion appliances.  When carbon monoxide does enter a  
          home, carbon monoxide devices can and do alert the  
          residents and prevent or significantly decrease the  
          severity of a poisoning." 

          According to the author's office, the 2009 International  
          Residential Code requires that carbon monoxide detectors be  
          installed in new construction dwelling units with  
          fuel-fired appliances or attached garages.  The updated  
          code also requires detectors to be installed in existing  
          homes that have fuel-fired appliances or attached garages  
          when work requiring a building permit occurs.  The author's  
          office indicates that the Department of Housing and  
          Community Development is currently considering adopting  
          these requirements in California for newly constructed one  
          and two unit dwellings. 

          Last year, the author of this bill introduced a similar  
          bill, SB 1386 (Lowenthal).  That bill, which would have  
          required that carbon monoxide devices be installed in both  
          new construction and existing, dwelling units, was vetoed  
          by the Governor.  In order to address the concerns in the  
          Governor's veto message, this bill will apply only to  
          existing housing and not to new construction.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/30/09) (unable to reverify at time  
          of writing)

          California Coalition for Children's Safety and Health  


                                                                SB 183

          California State Firefighters Association (co-source)
          California Alarm Association
          California Industrial Hygiene Council
          California Retailers Association
          Carbon Monoxide Safety and Health Association
          Home Depot
          National Fire Protection Association
          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
          Safe Kids
          State Association of Electrical Workers
          Western Center on Law and Poverty

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author's office writes that  
          "[c]arbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental  
          poisoning deaths in the United States.  Carbon monoxide is  
          an odorless, colorless, deadly gas.  The most effective  
          safety device available to reduce injuries and fatalities  
          related to carbon monoxide poisoning is a CO alarm.  SB 183  
          (Lowenthal) will help to ensure California's families are  
          protected from carbon monoxide poisoning."  The author's  
          office further writes, "The California Air Resources Board  
          has determined that 30-40 "avoidable deaths" occur just in  
          California each year, on average, due to unintentional  
          carbon monoxide poisoning.  Additionally, there are 175-700  
          "avoidable" emergency room visits and hospitalizations in  
          California alone."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Arambula, Bass, Beall, Bill  
            Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley,  
            Buchanan, Caballero, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Coto,  
            Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong,  
            Fuentes, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huffman, Jones, Lieu,  
            Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Monning, Nava, V. Manuel  
            Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana, Skinner,  
            Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Torrico, Yamada, John A. Perez
          NOES:  Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Cook, DeVore, Fuller,  
            Gaines, Gilmore, Hagman, Huber, Knight, Logue, Miller,  
            Nestande, Niello, Nielsen, Norby, Silva, Audra  
            Strickland, Tran, Villines
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Anderson, Charles Calderon, Emmerson,  
            Evans, Furutani, Galgiani, Garrick, Hall, Harkey,  


                                                                SB 183

            Jeffries, Smyth, Torlakson, Vacancy

          JJA:do  4/14/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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