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  1. #1
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    Default Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Does anyone have a code or specific reference as to what "immediate vicinity" means ?

    I just did an inspection today and it had been inspected now 3 weeks earlier and the only thing the other (idiot) inspector wrote up was that it needed another CO detector on the other end of the hallway, yes I understand the fact long hallways may need 1 on each end, but this was less than 10' feet long.

    Last time I researched this I found 1 guy in Colorado stating 13', but he had no code to reference it.

    All the code says is:
    "R315.3 Location. Carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. When a fuel-burning appliance is located within a bedroom or its attached bathroom, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed within the bedroom."

    Following up - Some more research shows :
    "The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home, including the basement. A detector should be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door and there should be one near or over any attached garage."

    "According to the 2005 edition of the carbon monoxide guidelines, NFPA 720, published by the National Fire Protection Association, sections 5.1.1.1 and 5.1.1.2, all CO detectors 'shall be centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms,' and each detector 'shall be located on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified in the installation instructions that accompany the unit."

    Oddly enough both of these are found on the same document, but again, no distinct code #

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    Last edited by Joe Reilly; 11-22-2021 at 10:18 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Joe,

    The problem with vague terms is that they can be interpreted differently by different folks. My yardstick is one on each level of a home. If two-story, I want to see two. I do mention that it would be better if placed near the bedrooms in order to wake someone who is sleeping. I suggest installation near bedrooms, but I don't make a big deal about it if the CO alarm is in the living room.

    A few years ago, Skip Walker wrote this for CREIA:
    https://www.creia.org/california-car...w-takes-effect

    This is CAR's take on it.
    https://www.car.org/-/media/CAR/Docu...2C37415273E54A

    This is from the California Health & Safety Code:
    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...ctionNum=17926

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Gunnar -

    Yeah, that is pretty much the same I have found every where, my rule is I want 1 outside bedrooms that are reasonable close to each other, if there is anything besides a bathroom between bedrooms than I would like to have 2, and of course each level regardless of it a bedroom is present or not.

    I agree on how vague it is, and just wondered why another inspector would want 2 within 10' of each other.

    I actually tell them to mount them pillow height, as the weight is so close to that of air, (.096 vs 1.0) so it can wake them regardless of it is coming from the top or bottom.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    I actually tell them to mount them pillow height, as the weight is so close to that of air, (.096 vs 1.0) so it can wake them regardless of it is coming from the top or bottom.
    Joe,

    I agree with you on the pillow-height, but I do it a bit differently. I recommend they do it as per the manufacturer's installation instructions. But, I tell them that I have mine installed at pillow-height because I want to know about CO there. Otherwise, it would be necessary to put one near the ceiling and near the floor to capture the widest area.

    Of course, two CO alarms are not a bad thing.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Gunnar -

    I thought you never slept .


  6. #6
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    Fletcher, NC
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    Arrow Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    The Florida Building Code, Residential defines it this way:

    R315.1 Carbon monoxide protection.
    - Every separate building or an addition to an existing building for which a permit for new construction is issued and having a fossil-fuel-burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, an attached garage, or other feature, fixture, or element that emits carbon monoxide as byproduct of combustion shall have an operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping purposes.
    - - Exception: This section shall not apply to existing buildings that are undergoing alterations or repair unless the alteration is an addition as defined in Section R315.1.3.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The Florida Building Code, Residential defines it this way:

    R315.1 Carbon monoxide protection.
    - Every separate building or an addition to an existing building for which a permit for new construction is issued and having a fossil-fuel-burning heater or appliance, a fireplace, an attached garage, or other feature, fixture, or element that emits carbon monoxide as byproduct of combustion shall have an operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping purposes.
    - - Exception: This section shall not apply to existing buildings that are undergoing alterations or repair unless the alteration is an addition as defined in Section R315.1.3.


    There it is 10 Feet, but not sure I can quote FL code in CA...


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    Gunnar -

    I thought you never slept .
    Joe,

    That's obfuscation from my PR department.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    There it is 10 Feet, but not sure I can quote FL code in CA...
    Maybe not, but consider that "in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms" is intended to do two things:

    a) sample the air on the vicinity of sleeping people

    b) be close enough to those sleeping people that they will hear the alarm go off

    Codes are "minimums" which must be met to achieve a minimum acceptable level of safety.

    Meeting code does not in any way mean something is "safe".

    Meeting code simply means you are being given the least opportunity to "get out alive" that is allowed.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant - Retired
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Define immediate vicinity for CO Detectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Reilly View Post
    Does anyone have a code or specific reference as to what "immediate vicinity" means ?
    "R315.3 Location. Carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. When a fuel-burning appliance is located within a bedroom or its attached bathroom, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed within the bedroom."

    "According to the 2005 edition of the carbon monoxide guidelines, NFPA 720, published by the National Fire Protection Association, sections 5.1.1.1 and 5.1.1.2, all CO detectors 'shall be centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms,' and each detector 'shall be located on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified in the installation instructions that accompany the unit."
    #
    Both the iRC and NFPA 720 contain some semi-conflicting or -confusing language that the Fire Chiefs omit. "Each sleeping area" may include areas that are not part of bedrooms. This was discussed at a door messaging workshop a few years ago. When someone crashes on the couch periodically, it's not a bedroom but it is a sleeping area. They may be protected by a CO alarm that also fits the requirement of being outside a bedroom, or it may not. Fortunately for inspectors (any kind), they may not know that this use is likely. Ditto the need for alarms suitable for someone hearing -impaired.


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