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.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas.
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.
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.
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:
This is a device that detects carbon monoxide. A detector will sound an alarm when CO levels in a home are detected.
Oregon law requires that CO alarms are installed in certain residential properties. These are as follows;
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.
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.