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BE AWARE -- New Carbon Monoxide Alarm Rules Take Effect April 1, 2011

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In 2009, Oregon Legislature passed HB 3450, also known as the Lofgren and Zander Memorial Act, requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in specific residential applications with a carbon monoxide source. The rules began to take effect on July 1, 2010.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, charcoal, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, kerosene, and methane) burn incompletely.  Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines also produce carbon monoxide.   Fumes are dangerous and can be deadly.

The purpose of the bill is to reduce deaths and poisonings from carbon monoxide. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2,100 people die each year of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Fire agencies statewide, including Portland Fire & Rescue, are making every effort to educate Oregonians about the requirements of the bill and importance of installing carbon monoxide alarms.

The Act requires properly functioning carbon monoxide (CO) alarms be installed in sleeping areas of dwellings with a CO source. CO sources include, but are not limited to:

  • Heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Furnaces
  • Appliances
  • Cooking sources using coal, wood, petroleum products (including kerosene, natural gas, or propane)
  • Other fuels emitting CO as a by-product of combustion
  • Attached garages with doors, ductwork or ventilation shafts connected to a living space are also sources of CO

The temporary rules for existing structures became effective July 1, 2010. 

We worked with citizen advocates, the Oregon fire service, representatives from health, manufactured housing and multifamily housing, home builders, sellers, and renters to create rules aimed at successful compliance,” advised State Fire Marshal Randy Simpson. “We all want to protect the public from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Who Does What, and When? 

Oregon law requires carbon monoxide alarms to be installed following specific House Bill 3450 implementation dates:

  • JULY 1, 2010 – Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Administrative Rules become effective.
  • JULY 1, 2010 – For all new rental agreements, landlords must provide properly functioning carbon monoxide alarms for rental dwelling units with, or within a structure containing, a carbon monoxide source.
  • APRIL 1, 2011 – Landlords must provide properly functioning carbon monoxide alarms for all rental dwelling units with, or within a structure containing a carbon monoxide source.
  • APRIL 1, 2011 – Home sellers of one-and two family dwellings, manufactured dwellings, or multifamily housing units containing a carbon monoxide source must have one or more properly functioning carbon monoxide alarms before conveying fee title or transferring possession of a dwelling.
  • APRIL 1, 2011 – Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) adopts rules such that carbon monoxide alarms are required for new residential structures submitted for plan review as of April 1, 2011. Also effective this date, carbon monoxide alarms are required in residential structures that undergo reconstruction, alteration or repair for which a building permit is required. Affected “residential structures” are those identified in section 310 of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) as a residential Group R occupancy. Examples of these uses may be characterized as; hotels, motels, apartments, dormitories, fraternities, sororities, one- and two-family dwellings, townhouses and residential care/assisted living facilities. In addition, SR-3 and SR-4 occupancies as defined in OSSC Appendix SR are included as they are principally built to “residential” standards. The carbon monoxide alarm requirements for new construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair are applicable regardless of the presence of a carbon monoxide source.

Additional References & Contact Information

For more information on Oregon’s carbon monoxide law, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/CommEd_CO_Program.shtml or contact Colleen Olson, Office of State Fire Marshal, at 503-934-8228.

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For Landlords

Metro Multifamily Housing Association

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Portland, OR 97205

503-226-4533

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Salem, OR 97301

503-378-9066

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Salem, OR 97308

503-362-3645  

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Building Codes Division

P.O. Box 14470

Salem, OR 97309-0404

503-378-4133

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Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?