SACRAMENTO – Starting July 1, new legislation will go into effect requiring homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors in every California home; a move Cal Fire officials said in a news release will save lives. “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, each year claiming the lives of an average of 480 people,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover. “And sending more than 20,000 people to emergency rooms across the nation.” Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces and many types of appliances and cooking devices. The best way for homeowners to stay protected from CO is to have a carbon monoxide detector installed on every floor and outside each sleeping area. A recent study found that nearly nine in 10 California households did not have a CO detector. “Having a CO detector is a small investment that really can help save your life and the lives of your family,” said Hoover. To help educate homeowners about the new law and to encourage them to install a carbon monoxide detector, Cal Fire / Office of the State Fire Marshal are teaming up with fire departments across the state, the Home Safety Council, First Alert and Lowe’s to host “CO Saturday” on June 4. “CO Saturday” will be a special day-long safety celebration to teach families how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Though previous laws only required newly-constructed homes to have CO alarms, the state’s new Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill 183) requires owners of all existing single-family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install CO alarm devices within the home by July 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law. For more information on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning visit the Cal Fire website at www.fire.ca.gov. For more information on “CO Saturday”, please visit www.homesafetycouncil.org.