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Carbon Monoxide detector requirements

SCRLA working for you:
Details on new building code that requires carbon monoxide alarms in hotels
Changes to the International Building and Fire Code now require South Carolina hotels and motels to equip many of their rooms with carbon monoxide alarms. The new rules went into effect on July 1, and SCRLA wants you to be informed and prepared before your next inspection.These codes are updated every three years internationally.

The rules are for new and existing hotels that have fuel-fired appliances or attached garages. They must now be equipped with single-station carbon monoxide alarms.

However, the South Carolina building code changes does not require carbon monoxide alarms in every hotel room. The new rules won’t apply if ALL THREE of the following criteria are met:                                                             

1.  When the rooms are located more than one story above or below the appliance or garage.

2.  When the rooms aren’t connected by ductwork or ventilation shafts to any room containing the appliance or garage.

3. When a building’s common area is equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm system.

*Hotels and motels must meet all three of these requirements to be exempt.*

You voiced your concerns, and SCRLA is working with the state fire marshal’s office to help inform you of the changes. S.C. State Fire Marshal Shane Ray will explain the changes in more detail in the August issue of Hospitality News.

If you haven’t equipped your facility with detectors yet, our suggestion is for you to develop a written plan on how you will install the detectors and meet the code requirement, then present it to your local fire inspector. According to the state fire marshal, inspectors are willing to work with you if you can prove you are trying to comply.

The code reads:

1103.9 Carbon monoxide alarms. Existing Group I or R occupancies located in a building containing a fuel-burning appliance or a building which has an attached garage shall be equipped with single-station carbon monoxide alarms. The carbon monoxide alarms shall be listed as complying with UL 2034, and be installed and maintained in accordance with NFPA 720 and the manufacturer’s instructions. An open parking garage, as defined in the International Building Code, or an enclosed parking garage ventilated in accordance with Section 404 of the International Mechanical Code shall not be deemed to be an attached garage.

Exception: Sleeping units or dwelling units which do not themselves contain a fuel-burning appliance or have an attached garage, but which are located in a building with a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage, need not be equipped with single-station carbon monoxide alarms provided that:

1. The sleeping unit or dwelling unit is located more than one story above or below any story that contains a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage;

2. The sleeping unit or dwelling unit is not connected by duct work or ventilation shafts to any room containing a fuel-burning appliance or to an attached garage; and

3. The building is provided with a common area carbon monoxide alarm system.”

You can find a link to the code here.