Since April 1, 2012, the seller of any single family residence, including condominiums, must equip the residence with carbon monoxide alarms. It is the seller’s responsibility to install the alarms in compliance with state building code which requires:
- an alarm outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of each bedroom
- on each level of the dwelling
- in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
Regardless of the type of heat or appliances (electric or natural gas) or whether the garage is attached or detached, the law applies to all homes. Carbon monoxide alarms are readily available at hardware stores, cost as little as $25.00 and are easily installed.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas – you cannot taste, see or smell carbon monoxide. In many cases of reported carbon monoxide poisoning, victims were aware they were not well but became so disoriented that they were unable to save themselves by exiting the building or calling for assistance. Young children and pets are typically the first affected. CO alarms are designed to trigger at levels below those that cause a loss of ability to react to the danger of carbon monoxide exposure.
When a residence is sold, the buyer’s inspector and the lender’s appraiser will make notes regarding the proper installation of CO alarms. To avoid possible delays in closing or additional fees for return visits to confirm installation, install CO alarms before listing the property for sale.