Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and highly toxic gas. In general, landlords are required to provide and install at least one approved carbon monoxide and smoke detector in each dwelling unit and provide written information about how to test and maintain them. The detector must have an audible end-of-useful-life alarm. A carbon monoxide detector must be installed within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room.

Tenants are responsible for maintaining both devices. If a tenant has removed the detector or failed to replace its battery, they must return it to proper working order. For safety, tenants should:

  • Test all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors at least once a month.
  • Replace the batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors at least twice a year.
  • Listen for an alarm sound when the battery is low, and replace the battery immediately.
  • Use only the type of batteries recommended on the detector.
  • Never paint over detectors.

Tenants who live in a Class A building (permanent occu-pancy) must reimburse the building owner $25 for each smoke detector and each carbon monoxide detector, or $50 for each joint smoke/carbon monoxide detector that is newly installed or installed as a result of the occupant’s failure to maintain the detector, or where the detector has been lost or damaged by the occupant. The occupant has one year from the date of installation to make a payment.

Tenants who live in class B buildings (transient use) are not required to reimburse property owners for either device.

Tenants in private dwellings (1-2 family homes) must reimburse the building owner $25 for each carbon monoxide detector that is newly installed or installed as a result of the occupant’s failure to maintain the detector, or where the detector has been lost or damaged by the occupant. The occupant has one year from the date of installation to make a payment.