In 2009, HB 3450 was enacted, making way for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in certain residential properties that have some sort of combustion source. As with most legislation, the specific rule making, that follows, actually tells us what we need to know. For now, and since July 1, 2010, there are temporary rules in place that guide us.
The basics are this; if you are a landlord, you need to install carbon monoxide alarms in your properties as tenants turn over, if there is a combustion source in the property. Combustion sources are such things as gas, oil or propane furnaces, gas or propane stoves, dryers, and hot water heaters. Does it have a flame? It is probably a combustion source.
Carbon monoxide alarms are made for different installations. So be sure devices meant for ceiling installations are installed on the ceiling etc. In addition be sure your tenants have extra batteries and provide them with operating instructions.
Below is a top rated alarm from consumerresearch.com. Some are plug in models, others powered only by batteries.
First Alert CO615 *Est. $35 Compare Prices
Plug-in carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are easy to use, and you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries. Experts give this First Alert model the highest accuracy ratings, and owners appreciate this detector’s clear… backlit display, which monitors current and peak CO levels. Another plus is that you can test or silence its alarm using a TV remote control within a 12-foot range. The First Alert CO615 also comes with two AA batteries that serve as a safety backup in the event of a power outage. Manufacturers say this CO detector should be replaced after the expiration of its five-year warranty.
According to the State Fire Marshall, additional changes take effect on April 1, 2011:
– All rental dwelling units that have a carbon monoxide source or are located within a structure having a carbon monoxide source are required to have a carbon monoxide alarm.
– When conveying fee title or transferring possession under a land sale contract of a one and two family dwelling or multifamily housing that contains a carbon monoxide source, the dwelling or housing must have one or more properly functioning carbon monoxide alarms installed in locations that provide carbon monoxide detection for all sleeping areas.
– Carbon monoxide alarms are required in new construction or a structure that undergoes reconstruction, alteration or repair for which a building permit is required, and is identified in the structural specialty code as a residential Group R structure.(for new construction and reconstruction go to Oregon Buildings Codes http://www.cbs.state.or.us/bcd/committees/11orsc.html)
The point of these rules is to reduce deaths and poisonings from carbon monoxide. Something I think we all agree upon. Like their cousins, the smoke alarms, these things save lives. Though it hasn’t been legislated, you might consider installing these devices in your home, office and rentals even if you don’t have a tenant turnover.
Check out some different types of carbon monoxide alarms here