Carbon monoxide detectors required in many rental units starting Monday

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 29, 2015 4:59 AM

(Lancaster) -- Landlords across the state face a new requirement Monday, but it's one that could save lives; carbon monoxide detectors will be required in most rental units.

The alarms will have to be installed by landlords in any rental unit that has an attached garage, fossil fuel-burning heater or appliance, or fireplace.

The mandate stems from a 2013 measure that is just now taking effect.

Landlords who fail to install a carbon monoxide detector will face fines of $50 per unit.

In Lancaster, Code Compliance and Inspections Bureau Chief Gary Horning says the new regulation is smart, considering how busy the fire department is in a city of 60,000 people.

"You don't smell it. You can't see it. But I bet they run two gas leaks here in the city for various reasons, and a lot of times you don't get a second chance," says Horning.

Horning says regulation adds another item to his checklist, but notes it also helps simplify a confusing system.

He adds in the city, inspectors who find problems usually give landlords 48 hours to address them before issuing fines.

Tenants will be required to maintain the carbon monoxide detectors, including replacing batteries.

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