Home Features November 26, 2012

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required!

I've got one more thing to add to your Cyber Monday shopping list — smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. It's estimated that this year's Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third year in a row: According to research firm comScore, Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion, up 20 percent from last year on Cyber Monday, as retailers have ramped up their deals to get shoppers to click on their websites.

So did you know that last April, a new law become effective requiring all homes sold (or resold) in Washington to have a CO detector installed on every floor of the house and outside every sleeping area? The advice to check home smoke alarm batteries that always comes when we “fall back” to daylight saving time now also includes checking those in carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Hopefully you have both at your house, but if you don't, today could be a great day to buy them.

This is also good advice for people who aren’t selling their home. I was surprised to learn that carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. It is a poisonous gas you cannot see, smell, or taste, and can get in your home when fuels are burned to heat your home, to heat water, or when cooking. Installing a CO alarm (detector) is the only way to know of its presence.

Here’s a brief review of the new carbon monoxide detector law in Washington:

  • A detector must be placed on each floor of the home.
  • A detector must be placed outside each sleeping area.
  • It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a fuel-burning fireplace in your home.
  • It doesn’t matter whether or not you have an attached garage.
  • It doesn’t matter whether the home is new construction – the law applies to every home!

Carbon monoxide detectors (also available built into a smoke detector) can be purchased in most hardware stores, home improvement stores, and super stores like Target and Fred Meyer. I’ve even seen them at Costco.

If you have any questions about this new requirement, or need additional assistance if you’re preparing to sell your home, please call. As always, I’m delighted to help you with any of your real estate needs.