Monday, June 15, 2009

Carbon Monoxide Alarms - Now Required

by Osman Parvez
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The real estate contracts update class I took this morning was pretty good. There are loads of changes in the Commission approved contracts.

Here's one you should know: By law, residential property owners must install carbon monoxide alarms prior to offering the property for sale.

18.2.3. Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Note: If the improvements on the Property have a fuel-fired heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage and one or more rooms lawfully used for sleeping purposes (Bedroom), Seller understands that Colorado law requires that Seller assure the Property has an operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within fifteen feet of the entrance to each Bedroom or in a location as required by the applicable building code, prior to offering the Property for sale or lease.
I suspect the legislation was created because of several high profile carbon monoxide related deaths over the Winter. Even without the law, installing one is a smart idea.

As it happens, I once had my own brush with CO poisoning.

Years ago, I was house sitting on Nantucket during the winter. One cold night, the exhaust pipe on the furnance shook itself loose. The HVAC guy probably hadn't fastened it together properly. I might not have even discovered it, except something didn't smell right about the air in the house, so I went down to the basement to check things out. I found a dark, dirty smear of exhaust on the ceiling, directly over the furnance. Fuzzy headed, I recall staring blankly at the stain and the disconnected pipes. Suddenly it clicked. We evacuated the house and immediately had it repaired. Sometimes, I wonder how close we came to not waking up at all.

You'll find a variety of CO detectors at your local hardware store. When I bought a new one over the winter, the stores had been running low. Call ahead or order online. Amazon.com has them in prices range from $20 to $35.



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