Starting January 1st, Washington state will require that all rental properties have a carbon monoxide detector installed.  This is in addition to the current requirement that all owner occupied properties have carbon monoxide detectors installed when they are sold.

According to the Seattle Times, “The state Legislature ordered changes in the building code after widespread power outages from a December 2006 windstorm in the Puget Sound area led to hundreds of people being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Eight deaths were blamed on fumes from people using generators or lighting barbecues inside their homes.”

I personally have dealt with a number of homes where we discovered during the inspection process that carbon monoxide was leaking into the home and the homeowners were completely unaware of just how poisonous their own homes were.   I think we assume that appliances and furniture designed to be in our homes are safe and that is a dangerous assumption.   In one instance, the home owner had been suffering from chronic headaches and upon learning about the carbon monoxide and correcting the problem, (an old furnace with a cracked heater exchange) her headaches disappeared.

Carbon Monoxide is especially dubious as it is odorless, colorless and practically in-detectable.  In energy-efficient homes that tend to be more air-tight; clean healthy air is especially important.

Click here for a great buying guide from Lowes for these detectors.

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