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Selling Tips: Carbon Monoxide Law

CO Detectors Now Required in Colorado

All homes and apartment buildings for sale in Colorado, as well as rented apartments and homes, must have Carbon Monoxide Detectors installed within 15 feet of the door to any room lawfully used for sleeping if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage, according to Colorado House Bill 1091, which passed in 2009.

Fuel-burning appliances include, but are not limited to, space heaters, furnaces, water heaters, ovens, stoves, gas fireplaces and other appliances which are fueled by gas, coal, kerosene, wood or other fuel that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct. Homeowners and apartment owners also have to install detectors if they complete any major renovations or additions.

A Carbon Monoxide Detector is a device that detects the presence of the Carbon Monoxide (CO) in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless compound produced by incomplete combustion that is lethal at high concentrations. If a high concentration of Carbon Monoxide is detected, the device sounds an alarm, giving people in the area a chance to ventilate the area or safely leave the building.

CO Detectors do not serve as Smoke Detectors and vice versa. However, dual Smoke/CO Detectors are also sold. Smoke Detectors detect the smoke generated by flaming or smoldering fires, whereas CO Detectors can alarm people about faulty fuel burning devices.

If your Carbon Monoxide Detector alarm sounds, turn off appliances or other sources of combustion at once. Immediately get fresh air into the premises by opening doors and windows and evacuate the premises. Call a qualified technician and have the problem fixed prior to restarting any appliances. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning (headaches, dizziness, vomiting) call emergency services and move to fresh air.

For more details of the Colorado Carbon Monoxide Safety Act, passed in 2009, see the state's pamphlet on implementing Carbon Monoxide Safety.