Carbon monoxide detectors now mandatory in most Pa. rental units

     (<a href=Photo via ShutterStock) " title="shutterstock_236458477" width="640" height="360"/>

    (Photo via ShutterStock)

    Landlords across Pennsylvania face a new requirement Monday — and it’s one that could save lives.


    Carbon monoxide detectors must 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 law passed in 2013 that is just now taking effect.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

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

    In the central Pennsylvania city of Lancaster, Code Compliance and Inspections Bureau Chief Gary Horning said the new regulation makes sense, considering how busy the fire department is in the city of 60,000 people.

    “You don’t smell it, you can’t see it, but I’ll bet they run two gas leaks a week here in the city for various reasons,” he said. “And a lot of times, you don’t get a second chance.

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

    In Lancaster, inspectors who find problems usually give landlords 48 hours to address them before issuing fines.

    Once the detectors are installed, tenants will be required to maintain the devices, including replacing the batteries.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal