Carbon Monoxide Detector Laws in Oregon

Carbon Monoxide Detector Laws in Oregon

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What is carbon monoxide and how can it affect your home and family. Learn a bit more about the adverse effects of this gas and the carbon monoxide detector laws in Oregon for residential dwellings. For the most comprehensive explanation of the requirements, visit Oregon.gov.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas.

Why is this gas Harmful?

Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the blood. It deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. If inhaled, Carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal. The most significant hazard of CO poisoning is that it is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. Therefore, it is very difficult for us to detect. If you are sleeping you can die from carbon monoxide poisoning before you feel any symptoms. No one is really immune to the effects of CO. The United States estimates that CO poisoning results in more than 20,000 people per year visiting emergency rooms. Some 4,000 people per year become hospitalized. Sadly, approximately 400 people die each year from CO exposure.

What are Common Symptoms of CO Poisoning?

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, bright red skin, mental confusion, and/or loss of muscular coordination. Scary to learn, but it can also cause a loss of consciousness.

Where does carbon monoxide in the home come from?

Carbon monoxide is created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, charcoal, and petroleum products do not burn completely. If the fumes are not properly and safely vented, CO can build up in a home and become dangerous.

Carbon monoxide sources in our home can include the following:

  • Heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, appliances, and cooking sources. These can use coal, wood, petroleum products, and other fuels.  Petroleum products include, but are not limited to, kerosene, natural gas, and propane.
  • Equipment powered by internal combustion engines, such as cars, portable generators, lawnmowers, and power washers.
  • Attached garages with doors, ductwork, or ventilation shafts that are connected directly to a living space are also considered a source of carbon monoxide.

What is a carbon monoxide detector?

This is a device that detects carbon monoxide. A detector will sound an alarm when CO levels in a home are detected.

What are carbon monoxide detector laws in Oregon?

Oregon law requires that CO alarms are installed in certain residential properties. These are as follows;

  1. All rental dwelling units that either contain a CO source or are connected by a door, duct, or ventilation shaft to a CO source. This applies to rental agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2010.
  2. In any property sale or transfer of title of a dwelling that contains a CO source. This includes one and two-family dwellings, manufactured homes, and multifamily housing units. Alarms must be in place at the time that title is transferred.
  3. New residential construction where plans were submitted for review as of April 1, 2011, regardless of whether or not there is a CO source. This includes any building alteration or repair where a permit is required.

Where should Carbon Monoxide alarms be installed?

Oregon building regulations and laws governing such state that CO alarms must be installed in every bedroom or within 15 feet of every bedroom door. Bedrooms on separate floors in a structure containing two or more stories require separate CO alarms.

Is there any other important information to know about Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Yes, although detectors are not required in owner-occupied homes, other than at the time of selling or renting as per the above, we highly recommend having them functioning in your home at all times. Safety first, therefore, we advise taking simple steps to maintain safety in your home. CO detectors are very inexpensive as well as very easy to install.

In addition to needing CO detectors when selling your home, Oregon law also mandates the need for smoke detectors. To learn more, click here.

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July 8, 2020

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