Fire Policies

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Minnesota’s carbon monoxide alarm law makes carbon monoxide (CO) detectors mandatory in single family homes and multi-unit dwellings.

The law says the property owner is responsible for providing all single-family dwellings with a minimum of one approved and fully operational CO alarm installed within ten feet of each room used for sleeping. The State Fire Marshal Division says it is important to follow manufacturer’s installation instructions.

“CO alarms need to be placed where the gas is easily detectable,” says Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Bob Dahm. “Avoid dead air pockets, corners of the ceiling, and spots too near a wall or within a yard of an air vent.”

A CO alarm produces an audible warning when CO concentrations are high enough to be a health concern. “Remember that your smoke alarms detect smoke, so they will not warn you about carbon monoxide, which can be present in the complete absence of smoke,” Dahm says.

The CO alarm law was enacted in 2006, after carbon monoxide build-up from a propane boiler caused the death of a 17-year-old in North Branch.

For more on carbon monoxide law find “Carbon Monoxide” under “What’s New” on the State Fire Marshal site at The Minnesota Department of Health offers further explanation and advice at; search “carbon monoxide.” You may also email questions to


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