Salida, CO- Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in all types of homes by July 1 by sellers, landlords or property managers.
House bill 1091, signed into law March 24, establishes the requirement for homes changing hands and for some reason don’t have detectors. It includes single and multi-family homes and rentals being sold or for incoming new renters.
Building permits for new construction or major remodel work, require detectors be placed in homes.
Before a certificate of occupancy can be issued, detectors must be installed, Don Reimer, Chaffee County director of development, said.
County personnel mailed notices to anyone with building permits explaining the new law, he said. Anyone who receives the certificate before to July 1 won’t be required to have the devices, but any certificates issued after that date will.
Homeowners wanting to sell their homes will be subject to the same requirements. There is a seller property disclosure form they complete,
Nancy Hollen of First Colorado Land Office said.
The form tells potential buyers about condition of the home to the best of the knowledge of the seller, she said.
Hollen said landlords, property managers or sellers are released from liability when detectors are available and installed. They can’t just give it to renters and explain how to install them, she added.
It is up to new owners or renters to maintain the units, Hollen said. This typically means changing batteries.
The law states there be a detector within 15 feet of the entrance to every bedroom.
Detectors don’t have to be hard wired. They may be plugged into a non-switched outlet, but must also have battery back up, Hollen said.
The batteries work as an assurance in case the outlet doesn’t work or power is out, she said.
She and other property managers including Connie DeLuca, also of First Colorado Land Office and Dick Rudolph of El Sol Property Managers are
already installing detectors.
DeLuca said she’s been informing all her landlords about the change and even has one who was already an advocate for the devices.
It’s a good law, DeLuca said, and is similar to having smoke detectors, especially when children are involved.
Hollen agreed, “It’s just the smart thing to do.”
She said the law was likely influenced by the high-profile incident in Aspen last winter when the four-member Lofgren family died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of flu, but without the fever. Poisoning can include mental confusion and eventually
loss of muscle coordination, loss of consciousness and death.
When an alarm sounds, residents should leave immediately and not return until emergency responders issue an all-clear.