LA apartments need carbon monoxide detectors

As of the 1st of the month, all Los Angeles apartments are required to have carbon monoxide detectors in addition to smoke detectors.

Regular readers know I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the way LA regulates landlords. That said, this one is kind of a no-brainer. There’s no reason people should be dying from problems the solutions to which costs $50.

If you own units and are trying to figure out the easiest way to comply with the regulation, my advice is to replace an existing, hard-wired smoke detector in each unit with a combo smoke/CO detector. A cursory search of Amazon shows a whole range of these available from around $35 a unit. The labor involved in installing shouldn’t cost you more than $5-10 / unit, or you can just do it yourself.

In case you’re wondering how the Housing Department plans to enforce the new regulation, my guess would be via the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP). That’s the controversial program where city inspectors visit each unit in the city roughly every three years. In years past, a SCEP inspector would write you up for missing smoke detectors; I’m sure missing CO detectors will just be added to the list of potential violations.

So go out there and get this sorted out for your units. You’ll think about it once and then never again. And let’s hope we save a few lives along the way.