An odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide kills up to 40 people a year, according to an official from the California Air Resources Board.
In May 2010, the state passed a law requiring all homes with attached garages or fossil-fuel-burning appliances or heaters to install the detectors.
Owners of apartment buildings and other multifamily buildings with rental units have until July 1, 2013, to come into compliance.
Burning almost any fuel produces the gas; examples include car engines, natural gas furnaces and stoves, and fireplaces.
Without a device, it’s virtually undetectable, said Dimitri Stanich, a public information officer with the California Air Resources Board.
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