Last night, my husband installed four carbon monoxide alarms in our house. Oh, we’d had them sitting on the shelf for several months (make note, they don;t work still boxed up and not installed). What finally got us motivated? We had a home performance test a few weeks ago by Imaginenergy, and after finding the hot water heater doesn’t always draft properly, they asked if we had carbon monoxide monitors installed. They are now. In the meantime we are researching new hot water heaters and are looking at both tankless, or a sealed combustion tank.
I wrote about carbon monoxide alarms a few months ago, but feel the importance of these guys warrants another post. The State of Oregon is phasing in requirements for carbon monoxide alarms in residential properties. These alarms alert the occupants to the presence of dangerous levels or carbon monoxide; that nearly odorless gas that can kill you. We’ve had smoke alarms for years, that alert us to the presence of smoke we can see and smell. Being alerted to something we can’t see or smell seems like a pretty good idea.
Starting in July of 2010, landlords were obligated to install these alarms in units that had a combustion sources (gas heat, stove, hot water, oil heat, gas dryer etc.) that are having turnover of tenants. As a further extension of the law, starting April 1, 2011, all rental units with combustion sources must have a carbon monoxide alarms, single family and duplexes must have them if they are sold (transfer of title) and any residential dwelling that is new construction or remodeled such that it needs a building permit.
These requirements leave a gap for single family homes that are owned, and not being sold. but like their cousins the smoke alarm, these carbon monoxide alarms save lives. So though it hasn’t yet been legislated, you might consider installing these devices in your home if you have any “open flame” sources.