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Retrofit Items

Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Install alarms to comply with state law for homes, apartments and condos.

Inspect and install alarms as needed to comply with state law for homes, apartments and condos.

New California state law (SB 183), effective January 1, 2011, creates a requirement that carbon monoxide (CO) alarms be placed in dwelling units throughout the state.  The law creates disclosure requirements for sellers with respect to carbon monoxide (CO) monitors during property transactions, but absence of CO detectors does NOT preclude sale or transfer of the property.


The law covers every “dwelling unit intended for human occupancy” which means single-family housing, factory-built homes, condominiums, motels, hotels, dormitories, and each unit in “multiple-unit buildings.”  It applies to every dwelling unit that has “a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage”. “Fossil fuel” means “coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon products, which emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion.”


Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in existing single-family dwelling units in California no later than July 1, 2011. All other existing dwelling units must have proper CO alarms no later than January 1, 2013.


Carbon monoxide alarms must be designed to detect carbon monoxide and produce a “distinct, audible alarm.” The device may be battery-powered, a plug in, or hard-wired with a battery backup. It may be combined with a smoke detector, but must emit a distinct alarm to signal the presence of dangerous CO levels.  The devices must be certified by the State Fire Marshall.


Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas produced when any fuel is incompletely burned because of insufficient oxygen. Wood fires and charcoal grills produce large amounts of CO. Malfunctioning heating systems also produce CO.


Smoke Alarms
Install alarms to comply with laws requiring hardwired and/or battery operated smoke alarms.


Compliance with local city smoke alarm requirements for hardwired, battery-operated or hardwired with battery backup devices.

Whenever a sale (or exchange) of a single family dwelling occurs, the seller must provide the buyer with a written statement stating that the property is in compliance with local ordinances regarding smoke alarms.


R314.3 Location: Smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:


1) In each sleeping room

2) Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

3) On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwelling or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.


Many local ordinances impose more stringent smoke alarm requirements than state law. Therefore, city or county building and public safety regulations must be consulted regarding smoke alarm requirements.


Smoke alarm installation requirements also apply to new home construction, and, in many cases, to existing homes undergoing additions, alterations or repairs. Consult local regulations regarding smoke detector requirements in these instances as well.


Seismic Gas Shut-Off Valves
Install automatic “Earthquake Valves” to comply with laws to prevent fire or explosion.

Required for all buildings in some cities; shuts off flow of natural gas during major earthquake to prevent fire or explosion. Some local jurisdictions in California have adopted ordinances requiring automatic gas shutoff devices at the time of sale or during significant renovations.


“Seismic gas shutoff device” means a device installed on customer-owned gas piping which automatically shuts off gas service when an earthquake of 5.4+ magnitude or greater occurs at the valve’s location.

Automatic gas shutoff valves are installed on buildings’ gas house line (the pipe between the gas meter and the building).


The reason for this requirement is that natural gas piping and appliances can be damaged during earthquakes, causing gas leaks. Quick shutoff of the flow of gas from ruptured pipes is a key to preventing a fire or explosion due to a gas leak caused by an earthquake. About one in four fires after an earthquake is related to natural gas leaks.


The California State Architect is required to approve automatic gas shutoff valves to be installed in the State of California, pursuant to Section 19202 of the State of California Health and Safety Code. In the event that an automatic gas shutoff device is closed for any reason – even if the shutoff was not caused by an earthquake – only utility personnel or another qualified professionals should restore gas service and relight any appliance pilots in order to ensure a thorough safety and leak check is performed.


Automatic gas shutoff valves that activate and shut off your home or business’s natural gas supply in the event of a 5.4 or greater earthquake. Endorsed by the City of Los Angeles & JAPA, valves are tested and Approved.


Impact Hazard Glazing
Install safety film to meet requirements for sliding glass doors that are not tempered glass.


City of Los Angeles impact hazard glazing requirement: When selling existing single or two family dwellings, condominiums and apartments, impact hazard glazing or an approved film must be installed on every sliding glass panel of sliding-type doors. Exclusions to this requirement include: wardrobe doors, bathroom shower doors and french-type wooden doors. (L.A.M.C., Section 91.2406.7 Effective May 24, 1986)


Splintered, flying glass is one of the dangerous consequences of both natural and man-made disasters. In buildings where the government mandates tempered glass, window safety films can bring buildings up to requirements at costs far below that of replacing existing windows. Safety films are specifically designed to hold broken glass in place, reducing the chance of injury and property damage. They also make forced entry more difficult for would-be vandals and burglars.


Quality Care Home Inspections uses safety film products which meet and surpass more government and international standards than any other films. These films have been extensively tested by independent testing facilities and meet safety glazing criteria as defined by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council and Underwriters Laboratories. Materials are certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and by the City of Los Angeles.


Water Heater – Seismic Strapping
Anchor water heaters to comply with laws to prevent gas, electrical or water hazard in earthquakes.

Compliance with State seismic safety requirements.

State of California Health and Safety Code mandates that new and replacement water heaters be braced and anchored, and that compliance is a point-of-sale requirement.


During past earthquakes, water heaters have moved or tipped over if they were not securely anchored to adjacent walls or floors. This movement has resulted in gas line or water line leaks, and electrical wiring damage. Gas line leaks and damaged electrical wiring pose health and fire hazards, and water line leaks can cause significant and costly property damage.


Specifically, California law (Health & Safety Code Sections 19210-19217) requires:
• Any new or replacement water heater sold in California on or after July 1, 1991 be braced, anchored or strapped when installed to resist falling or horizontal displacement due to earthquake forces.
• The seller of any real property containing a water heater must certify in writing to the purchaser that water heater bracing requirements have been met.
The minimum standard for this security is set forth in the California Plumbing Code, although additional or more restrictive requirements may be adopted by local building departments. The certification can be included with the Homeowner’s Guide to Earthquake Safety, in the Real Estate Purchase Contract or Receipt for Deposit, or with the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement. (California Health and Safety Code, Section 19211)


The California State Architect has prepared guidelines for several earthquake bracing systems for typical residential water heater installations. These guidelines meet the bracing requirements of California’s building and plumbing codes, which require that a minimum of two bracing straps be provided to secure the water heater against movement. The installation of residential water heaters (including seismic bracing) is under the jurisdiction of local building departments.


Water Conservation
Install Ultra Low Flush Toilets, low flow Showerheads and faucet flow restrictors per city ordinances

Compliance inspections and installation of required devices. Impacted fixtures commonly include toilets, showerheads and faucets.

Local laws: Various water conservation measures are required by municipalities throughout California. Most require compliance as a condition of sale or transfer of properties.


Specified devices may include:

• Ultra Low Flow toilets — use 1.6 gallons or less per flush
• High Efficiency toilets — use 1.28 gallons or less per flush
• Ultra Low Flow urinals — use 1.0 gallons or less per flush
• Low Flow showerheads — use 2.5 gallons or less per minute
• Faucet Aerators, Flow Restrictors, or Low Flow faucets — typically use 2.5 gallons per minute; sometimes required to use as 2.2 gallons or less per minute


Various rebates are often available through local water providers for purchase of fixtures which meet or exceed compliance standards.


State law: SB 407, enacted October 11, 2009, mandates water conservation performance standards, and specific disclosure requirements at sale of properties. As of January 1, 2017, a seller or transferor of single-family residential real property, multifamily residential real property, or commercial real property must disclose, in writing, specified requirements for replacing plumbing fixtures.


Disclosure must include:


• Water use standards for toilets (1.28 gpf), urinals (1.0 gpf), showers (2.5 gpm) and faucets (2.2 gpm); and,
• Whether the real property includes non-compliant plumbing.
(Existing 1.6 G.P.F. toilets are compliant at point of sale)


More stringent local ordinances or policies may be enacted. Exceptions: registered historical sites or where installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures is not technically feasible.


ARTICLE 1.4. Installation of Water Use Efficiency Improvements [1101.1 – 1101.8]  ( Article 1.4 added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 587, Sec. 1. )


Civil Code 1101.4

(a) On and after January 1, 2014, for all building alterations or improvements to single-family residential real property, as a condition for issuance of a certificate of final completion and occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department, the permit applicant shall replace all noncompliant plumbing fixtures with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.


(b) On or before January 1, 2017, noncompliant plumbing fixtures in any single-family residential real property shall be replaced by the property owner with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.


(c) On and after January 1, 2017, a seller or transferor of single-family residential real property shall disclose in writing to the prospective purchaser or transferee the requirements of subdivision (b) and whether the real property includes any noncompliant plumbing fixtures.


(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 587, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2010.)

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