CO Detector Law


The Illinois General Assembly has passed, and the Governor has signed into law the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector Act (Public Act 094-0741). This new law, effective January 1, 2007, requires homeowners and landlords to install Carbon Monoxide detectors in all buildings containing bedrooms and sleeping facilities. 

The primary points of this law are: 

  • A “dwelling unit” is defined as a room or suite of rooms used for human habitation, and includes single family residences, each living unit of a multiple family residence and each living unit in a mixed use building.

  • Every dwelling unit must have at least one approved Carbon Monoxide detector alarm in operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.

  • If a structure contains more than one dwelling unit, an alarm must be installed within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping within each dwelling unit.

Alarms can be battery powered, plug-in with battery back-up or hard-wired with a secondary battery back-up. 

  • The alarms can be combined with smoke detectors as long as the combined unit complies with the specific rules relating to these devices and emits an alarm that clearly differentiates between smoke and Carbon Monoxide.

  • The building owner must supply and install all required alarms. A landlord is required to furnish one tenant per dwelling unit with written information regarding alarm testing and maintenance and must ensure that the alarms are operable on the date of initiation of a lease.

  • The tenant is responsible for testing and maintaining the alarm after the lease begins.

  • Willful failure to install or maintain an alarm in operating condition is a Class B criminal misdemeanor.

This Act does exempt certain residential units from this requirement. A residential unit would not require a Carbon Monoxide detector if all of the following are met: 

  • Does not rely on combustion of fossil fuel for heat, ventilation or hot water. 

  • Is not connected to a garage 

  • Is not sufficiently close to any source of Carbon Monoxide or any ventilated source of Carbon Monoxide so as to receive Carbon Monoxide from that source, as determined by the local building commissioner.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other fire prevention issue, please contact your local fire department.

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Schermerhorn & Co.
2737 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone: 847-869-4200
Fax: 847-869-0140

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