NEMA and its Signaling, Protection and Communication Section members cannot guarantee the legal accuracy, thoroughness, or currentness of the information contained on this site/page. The contents of this site are informational only, and should not be considered a substitute for specific legal or compliance advice. To obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information, please consult the applicable legal sources and/or authorities having jurisdiction.

Carbon Monoxide Detection

NEMA advocates at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—for the adoption of carbon monoxide (CO) detection requirements. To date, 39 states have enacted laws or codes requiring the installation of life-saving carbon monoxide detection devices in homes and/or other residential or commercial occupancies. In addition, a handful of states have enacted laws requiring the installation of CO detectors in schools. These initiatives, resulting in growth in home CO alarm and detector use since 1994, are a significant reason for a decline in the death rate.

By providing recommendations and model legislation based on industry consensus standards for product performance and installation requirements, NEMA is working to ensure that consumers have a choice when it comes to quality, affordable carbon monoxide protection. NEMA champions the industry’s position via testimony and letters written to public officials.

NEMA Recommendations and Model Legislation

State Requirements for Carbon Monoxide Detection

To date, 39 states have adopted requirements, either by statute or code, mandating the installation of carbon monoxide detection devices in single-family homes, multi-family dwellings, or other residential dwellings and commercial buildings. Please click on the map below to learn more about specific state requirements.

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Testimony and Letters

Issue Briefs/White Papers

Smoke and Fire Detection

Protecting individuals from health and safety hazards posed by fire and smoke is of critical importance. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), since the 1970s, when smoke alarms became widely available to U.S. households, the home fire death rate has been reduced by more than 50 percent. States and localities now require the installation of smoke alarms and detectors in nearly all residential construction.

NEMA advocates for a “proactive approach” to fire system design—one that incorporates both smoke/fire detection systems and fire suppression/sprinkler systems. Automatic fire detection and alarm systems, when combined with suppression systems and other elements of a proactive fire protection plan, significantly reduce property damage, personal injuries, and loss of life from fire.

NEMA also believes that state and local laws, codes and regulations should permit the installation of smoke alarm and detection equipment that is properly installed and maintained in accordance with national codes and standards. NEMA does not publicly endorse or oppose any listed detection technology. Instead, NEMA recommends that legislative and code/regulatory bodies avoid enacting technology-specific mandates that could have the unintended consequence of eliminating future consumer choice in installing smoke detection technology that may provide advanced protection for them and their families.

NEMA Positions/Comments

Issue Briefs/White Papers