Carbon Monoxide Detector Rule For Businesses Takes Effect Soon: Toms River Fire Officials

TOMS RIVER, NJ — Commercial buildings throughout New Jersey are required to install carbon monoxide detectors, and the deadline to get them in place is approaching.

Toms River fire officials have been putting the word out through various means since early August; the law requiring the detectors to be installed was passed in July and requires them to be in place by Sept. 3, 2017, said Kevin Esposito, fire official for the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention.

Carbon monoxide "is called the 'silent killer' because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating," Esposito said. More than 10,000 people are poisoned by carbon monoxide and need medical treatment each year; more than 500 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning, he said.

The law requires an owner of any restaurant or commercial building to install and maintain operable carbon monoxide detectors in conformance with standards established by the state. They are required if the restaurant or commercial building has appliances, devices or systems that may emit carbon monoxide or if they have an attached garage.

"This new update is only required for occupancies that have a fuel-burning appliance (water heater, furnace, fireplace, attached garage, etc.). This regulation does not apply to facilities that are ALL electric. Examples include: fuel burning heaters, gas water heaters, kerosene space heaters, propane stoves and gas ovens, and gasoline or diesel-powered generators," Esposito said.

Previously state law required working carbon monoxide detectors in every single-family home, two-family home, condominium, cooperative and in each unit of a multiple-dwelling building, he said. Restaurants and other commercial buildings were excluded previously, but the new law requires them in both existing facilities and new construction, he said.

Beginning Sept. 3, when a Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention inspector performs a fire inspection at a business, they will be looking for carbon monoxide detectors. Those businesses that do not have them will be issued violations and ordered to install them, Esposito said.

Businesses that receive a violation notice will have 30 days to comply, he said.

"This is a statewide commercial law come September 3rd, and it's important because it's retroactive, so it covers all existing facilities in Toms River and New Jersey as well as any new construction," Esposito said.

The guidelines are listed below. If your business has any questions, visit the fire prevention bureau website at www.trfireprevention.comand fill out the contact form. One of their inspectors will contact you to answer any questions you may have, Esposito said.

GUIDELINES

If your business is one of the following Use Groups:
I = Institutional, R = Residential, I-1, R-1, or R-2
A Carbon Monoxide Alarm is required in the following locations:
1. Immediate vicinity (No more than 10 feet) of each sleeping
2. Every room adjacent containing a Fuel-Burning Appliance (Furnace, Water Heater, Fireplace, etc.)
3. Every corridor, hall, or lobby adjacent to a room containing a Fuel-Burning Appliance)
4. Immediate vicinity of any ventilated shaft, including, but not limited to, stair shafts, elevator shafts, ventilation shafts on the story containing the Fuel-Burning Appliance; and
5. On any story within 2 stories above or below story containing the Fuel-Burning Appliance.

EXCEPTIONS:
1. Guest rooms one-story above or below the Fuel-Burning Appliance or attached garage.
2. Guest rooms not connected by a common duct or ventilation shafts to any room containing a Fuel-Burning Appliance or attached garage.
3. CO Detection Systems require detectors in every room containing a Fuel-Burning Appliance.

If your business is one of the following Use Groups:

A = Assembly, B = Business, E = Education, F = Factory, H = High-Hazard, M = Mercantile, S = Storage
A-1, 2, 3, 4, & 5; B, E, F, H, M, & S
A Carbon Monoxide Alarm is required in the following locations:
1. In every room(s) adjacent to the room(s) adjacent to the Fuel-Burning Appliance and every corridor, hall, and lobby adjacent to such room(s);
2. In the immediate vicinity of any ventilated shaft, including, but not limited to, stair shafts, elevator shafts, or ventilation shafts on the story of the Fuel-Burning Appliance;
3. In the first area served by each main duct leaving an area where the Fuel-Burning Appliance is located;
4. On any story within 2 stories above or below the story containing the Fuel-Burning Appliance.

EXCEPTIONS:
1. Repair garages.
2. Immediate area of large-drop battery charging.
3. Unconditioned spaces where detectors would be exposed to ambient conditions outside its normal operating conditions (dirt, water, dust, temperature, etc.).
4. Occupied spaces not connected by ductwork or ventilation shaft to any room containing a Fuel-Burning Appliance or attached garage.
5. In every room adjacent to the room containing the Fuel-Burning Appliance, and every corridor, hall, and lobby adjacent to such room(s).
6. In the immediate vicinity of any ventilated shaft, including, but not limited to, stair shafts, elevator shafts, or ventilation shafts on the story containing the Fuel-Burning Appliance.
7. In the first area by each main duct leaving an area where the Fuel-Burning Appliance is located; and
8. On any story within 2 stories above or below the story containing the Fuel-Burning Appliance.

Source: Toms River Patch

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