Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Nicole’s Law

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often referred to as the “silent killer.”   CO is an odorless, tasteless, colorless, toxic gas.

  • One Carbon Monoxide detector should be installed on every level of your home.

  • Carbon Monoxide detectors, per manufacturer’s recommendations, have a lifespan of 5-7 years.

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced by poor combustion, usually caused by improper ventilation of your home heating system.  Be sure to clear any outside exhaust vents  that are blocked by debris or snow.  You may heat your home with oil, gas, wood, coal or a combination of these fuels.

On November 4, 2005, Governor Romney signed "Nicole's Law", named after 7-year old Nicole Garofalo who died on January 28, 2005 when her Plymouth home was filled with deadly amounts of carbon monoxide on January 24. The furnace vents had been blocked by snow during a power outage.

This law requires that all buildings which have fossil-fuel burning equipment or enclosed parking areas to have Carbon Monoxide detectors.  This will sense Carbon Monoxide which is a colorless, odorless tasteless gas.  This gas has been called the silent killer as persons are unaware they are being overcome by this dangerous gas.  These detectors are required on every level of the home and within 10 feet of each sleeping area and in habitable portions of basements and attics.  The CO (Carbon Monoxide) Detectors may be:

  • Battery operated with battery monitoring; or
  • Plug-ins with battery backup; or
  • Hard wired with battery backup; or
  • Low Voltage system; or
  • Wireless, or
  • Qualified combination (Smoke / Carbon monoxide alarm)

Acceptable combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms must have simulated voice and tone alarms that clearly distinguish between the two types of emergencies.  State building code mandates that only photoelectric combination alarms are permitted within 20 feet of a bathroom or kitchen.

All affected residences must install approved carbon monoxide alarms by MARCH 31st 2006.  Where hard wired systems are required the dead line is January 1st 2007.

If you have any questions please call the Randolph Fire Department's Office of Fire Prevention at 781-961-0991 or click here to visit the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.  To view the Massachusetts Carbon Monoxide law click here.