CLACKAMAS, Ore. - A new law starts next month that mandates carbon monoxide alarms in many Oregon homes and apartments.
By April 1 any home that has a possible carbon monoxide source, such as natural gas appliance or wood stove, must have a monitor in it.
Saturday morning firefighters from Clackamas Fire District 1 explained the new law to shoppers at a Lowe’s home improvement store in Clackamas. Firefighter Tyson Lowther likes the new law because he said many people don’t know about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, so you can be sound asleep and have no idea,” he said. “If that detector goes off, you got to get out of the house.”
Carbon monoxide is created when fuels are incompletely burned. Sources in homes include heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, appliances and cooking sources that use coal, wood or gas.
In December, Rodney Gunther’s family in Southeast Portland learned firsthand just how dangerous carbon monoxide can be. His family of three barely survived carbon monoxide poisoning from a furnace in their home.
Firefighters said carbon monoxide alarms are also important for RV owners. RVs have many potential sources of carbon monoxide.
Prices of alarms range from about $17 up to $60. Some plug into wall outlets and have a battery backup.
The law was passed by the Oregon legislature in 2009.
In Washington, a monitor will be required in all homes by 2013. Contractors building new homes are already required to install them.