carbon monoxide detectors

A real estate friend of mine had an inspection with an FHA inspector and he indicated that per federal law the CO detector had to be mounted on the ceiling or with in 12" of the ceiling in the master bedroom and not in the hall or with in 15’ of the bedrooms. Does anyone have any info on this?


According to the 2005 edition of the carbon monoxide guidelines, NFPA 720, published by the National Fire Protection Association, sections and, 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.’

Not true as we require 15 feet in Illinois.

And in Minnesota: “…required within 10 ft of all rooms intended for sleeping”. So, depending on the floorplan, a 4 bedroom home would need anywhere from 1 to 4 detectors.

The question was about Federal Law requirements, and I believe Michael answered it.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement


Proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector is important. If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home provides extra protection.

Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.

When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide’s specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air.

Local code always supersedes HUD/FHA reporting requirements.

Plus there is no National code.
As Mike knows because ws just got a code this year.

I actually have one from NFPA that states outside sleeping rooms but in bedrooms to make it more confusing.

Can’t find original with good resolution to read the text but here is a diagram from the 2007 copy I had that matches from Wikipedia.

Did they change the attachments and advanced editing here or something?

Those illustrations or for smokes Bob. The question was CO detectors, but you new that.

You’re right there is no national code or federal law.

Actually the more clear one was for C/O in wikipedia however I would assume people use combo units more than ever and as we know C/o detectors only last 5 years while smoke on average last 8 years so I go with the smallest common denominator.:slight_smile:

Here is Illinois Law. Note as determined by the local building commissioner

Effective January 1, 2007, every Illinois home is required to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm in an operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. Homes that do not rely on the burning of fuel for heat, ventilation or hot water; are not connected to a garage; and are not near a source of carbon monoxide (as determined by the local building commissioner) are not required to install carbon monoxide detectors

In other words high rises with a boiler in the basement do not need them C/o
I always recommend placement in bedrooms to avoid waking up dead…:slight_smile:

Bob, if it’s in the bedroom, and the air is cool, you possibly would not hear the alarm go off.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors State Statutes
Updated January 2011

thanks for all your help