Congratulations to the ICC and its members for mandating the use of Carbon Monoxide detectors and for the countless lives this decision will help to save in the future!
On Sunday, September 21, 2008, the voting members of the International Code Council assembled at the Final Action Hearings in Minneapolis, MN and approved a historic step forward in home safety: the provision for the installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms in most one and two family dwellings.
This proposal was initially disapproved by the ICC International Residential Code (IRC) Building/Energy Committee in Palm Springs in February, citing concerns over a dated report about accuracy and reliability. Industry testimony countered that objection with information on new products and new testing requirements showing that reliability is no longer a valid concern. Now, when a jurisdiction adopts the 2009 International Residential Code, there will be provisions to protect many of the nearly 500 persons who die each year and over 15,000 who are hospitalized due to CO poisoning.
Specifically, the provision will require CO alarms in all new residences covered under the IRC where the residence contains fuel-fired appliances or has an attached garage. The alarm must be installed outside the sleeping areas in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s). For existing dwellings, anytime work is performed that requires a permit, a single station CO alarm will be required per the locations for new dwellings. The new requirements will be placed in Sections R313.1, 313.2, and 313.3 of the 2009 IRC.
Additional information on the decisions at the ICC hearings can be found on the ICC web site at http://www.iccsafe.org/news/2008FAH.html.