BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Starting with the new year, most Louisiana homes that are sold or leased will have to have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms installed, as will any home that has a standby generator installed.

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office said it worked with State Rep. Stephanie Hilferty of Metairie to pass what is now known as Act 458, which can be read in its entirety below.

Specifically, the act states that “[a]ll existing one- or two-family dwellings at the time of sale or lease, shall contain, at a minimum, an operable 10-year, sealed lithium battery smoke detector … [and] … an operable carbon monoxide detector with a long-life, sealed battery. The carbon monoxide detector may be combined with smoke detection.”

Carbon monoxide detectors will also become a mandatory purchase and installation for anyone who has a home generator installed.

“These changes are the direct result of the tragic aftermath of the 2020 and 2021 hurricane disasters across our state that saw more than a dozen carbon monoxide-related deaths and dozens more hospitalizations, all attributed to both portable and standby generator use,” said State Fire Marshal Dan Wallis. “We’re grateful to the housing and real estate industry for being proactive ahead of the law change to ensure everyone is appropriately educated on this effort to save lives well before the law goes into effect.”

Wallis released guidance for real estate, housing and construction industry professionals today. He released the following recommendation for carbon monoxide (CO) detectors:

  • When only one CO detector is required, its best location is near a sleeping area, preferably within 10 feet of a bedroom door.
  • Ideally, a CO detector should be located on every occupied level of your home, especially occupied levels with fuel-burning appliances. The CO detector should be placed within 10 feet of each bedroom door (inside or outside of the room), within 10 feet of the door to an attached garage, and inside of any rooms located over an attached garage. CO detectors should NOT be placed inside of an attached garage.
  • CO detectors should NOT be placed directly above or beside fuel-fired, heating, or cooking appliances or in or near humid areas like bathrooms. A CO detector should be placed at a distance of at least 15 feet or farther from these appliances and fireplaces.
  • CO detectors should NOT be placed next to a window or exterior door.
  • Installation heights vary by manufacturer. Therefore, it is advised to read the provided installation manual for each detector before placement.
  • Choose placement locations that are free of obstructions where the detector will stay clean and protected from adverse environmental conditions. CO detectors should be tested monthly to ensure they are operational.