REAC Flash News Report
December 24, 2020

COVID Relief Bill Includes Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Included as part of the COVID-19 relief package is H.R. 1690, which was originally passed on September 20, 2019 and is titled Carbon Monoxide Alarms Leading Every Resident To Safety Act of 2019. 

Congress has appropriated approximately $300 million over the next three years to pay for purchase/installation of CO equipment. As yet, there are no guidelines about how the funds are to be accessed.

CO Detectors are to be Installed IAW ICC Fire Code, Chapter 9, Section 915:

  • Section 9.15,1.1. Where Required — Carbon Monoxide detection shall be provided in dwelling units, sleeping units. … that contain a fuel burning appliance or fuel-burning fireplace.

  • Section 915.2.1. Carbon Monoxide Detection shall be installed in dwelling units outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. Where a fuel-burning appliance is located within a bedroom or its attached bathroom, carbon monoxide detection shall be installed within the bedroom.

  • Section 915.4.1 – Carbon monoxide alarms shall receive their primary power from the building wiring, …and when primary power is interrupted, shall receive power from a battery.

Funding Programs that Must Follow This New Rule

Effective date: “shall take effect on the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act“.

The Bill includes language for the following federally funded housing programs:

  • Public Housing
  • Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Multifamily Section 8
  • 202 and 811 PRAC
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
  • USDA Rural Housing

Effect of Rule on REAC and NSPIRE

The only noteworthy difference is the requirement that Carbon Monoxide detectors be hard-wired. There is no CO requirement under REAC UPCS, and had never been, even though many deaths have been attributed to a lack of CO detectors. There is a requirement under NSPIRE that CO detectors be installed, but does not specify hard-wiring, and NSPIIRE not in effect. 
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