Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious public health concern. More than 10,000 people are poisoned by carbon monoxide and require medical treatment each year. More than 500 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In light of the number of illnesses and death caused by high levels of carbon monoxide in homes and buildings, state legislatures have begun adopting laws mandating the use of carbon monoxide detectors. The requirements vary. In some cases, every enclosed room must have a detector and in others detectors are required in every room that has a smoke alarm. In other cases, only day care centers and group homes need detectors.

As of January 2015, 29 states have enacted laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors—Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Alaska requires detectors approved by the state fire marshal be installed in all dwellings. Connecticut requires them in all new construction, as does Georgia and New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Florida also requires them in new construction, and in every room with a boiler.

Illinois requires a detector within 15 feet of every sleeping room. Massachusetts and Minnesota require them within 10 feet. Maryland requires them in new construction and all public school buildings. New Jersey requires them installed at occupancy.

New York amended its Fire Prevention and Building Code to require detectors in new construction. North Carolina and West Virginia require them in every dwelling with a fossil fuel burning heater, fireplace or attached garage.

Texas requires a carbon monoxide detector in day care centers. Montana requires them in rental units. Wisconsin requires them in public buildings that sleep people.

Delaware, Maryland and Virginia prohibit the tampering of detectors installed by landlords. Tennessee requires carbon monoxide detectors in recreational vehicles that are rented or leased.

Note: The information on this page is for reference by state legislators and legislative staff. If you are a homeowner, landlord or tenant with questions about carbon monoxide detector requirements in your area, please contact your state or local housing department.

For carbon monoxide detector laws by state, please visit

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