Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Implementation of Nicole's Law

Nicole’s Law, requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors, was passed last year, but many questions remain about who must comply, when and how.

In a July 16 Boston Globe article, Inspectors Eye Compliance of New Mass. Carbon Monoxide Alarm Law, fire inspectors from several towns are interviewed. It says, in part, “The law is enforced mainly on the sale or transfer of a property, although it's also enforced anytime the fire department is called to a home, such as inspection of a home addition. There's no central database of information on inspections statewide, but a check with several fire departments around the state indicate a wide range of compliance.”

A guest column in the Canton Journal, Making Sense of Nicole’s Law, has additional helpful information for landlords. “The regulations allow for an alternative compliance for multiple dwelling units that have a minimal source or no source of CO inside individual units. According to the Department of Fire Services, this allows owners to target the CO alarm protection to only those areas that could be potential sources of CO such as, rooms that contain boilers, hot water heaters, central laundry areas and enclosed parking areas.” “Landlords are mandated to inspect, maintain, and if necessary, replace all CO alarms. This inspection will be required annually, as well as at the beginning of any rental period or if a complaint is issued. Landlords are also required to replace batteries in these alarms at least once a year.”