Pagosa Springs Area Association of REALTORS® supports new carbon monoxide legislation

The Pagosa Springs Area Association of REALTORS® (PSAAR) was saddened to hear about the tragic deaths of the Lofgren and Johnson families in Colorado. On March 24, 2009, Gov. Ritter signed HB 1091 (Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms in Residential Properties) into law.? The bill covers all new residential construction and existing single-family and multi-family housing units offered for sale, transfer or rent.

Beginning July 1, 2009, a seller of residential real property containing a fuel-fired heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage will be responsible for assuring that a carbon monoxide alarm is properly installed within 15 feet of the entrance to each room lawfully used for sleeping.? No person shall have a claim for relief against a property owner or their authorized agent if a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s published instructions.???

A carbon monoxide alarm:

• Detects carbon monoxide and produces a distinct, audible alarm;

• Conforms to standards recognized by independent product-safety testing laboratories;

• Is battery powered, plugs into a home’s electrical outlet and has a battery back up or is connected to an electrical system via an electrical panel;

• May be combined with a smoke-detecting device if the combined device has signals that clearly differentiate between the two hazards.

CO facts

• Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in America.

• Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning material containing carbon.

• Carbon Monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage and death. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it; but CO can kill you.

• Carbon Monoxide is produced by common household appliances we use every day. When not properly ventilated, CO emitted by these appliances can build up.

• Early symptoms of CO poisoning such as headaches, nausea and fatigue, are often mistaken for the flu because the deadly gas goes undetected in a home. Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage and even death.

• You should annually inspect your home for hazards like your home heating system, your furnace and other appliances, such as gas oven, ranges and cook tops for adequate ventilation.

• Do not burn charcoal inside your home (even the fireplace) and have fireplaces inspected each fall to ensure the pilot light burns safely.

• Do not operate gasoline-powered engines in confined areas such as garages or basements. Do no leave your car, mower or other vehicle running in an attached garage, even if the door is open.

• Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.

Watch for public service announcements, educational programs and services, and safety tips — the Colorado Association of REALTORS® (CAR) has seized an opportunity to partner with the CAR Education Foundation, Fox 31 and Kidde Corporation to launch a Carbon Monoxide education campaign to help raise awareness of the dangers of CO and to help residents and visitors to Colorado protect themselves from harm. Kidde, along with larger local retailers, will be making discount coupons available through Fox 31 for purchases of CO alarms.

Contact the Pagosa Springs Area Association of REALTORS® at 731-4015 for more information.