Sunday, August 17, 2008

CO Detectors Now REQUIRED in ALL Minnesota Homes

It’s August and air conditioning weather. Few Minnesotans are thinking about their furnace and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when windows are open almost daily to let in the fresh summer breezes. This summer, however, Minnesotans need think about CO detectors as a new law went into effect on August 1st requiring that every new and existing single family home have a carbon monoxide detector installed within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping! (Multi-family homes and apartment buildings must comply by August 1,2009.)

Understanding the new law

As with any new law, there is confusion as to where the CO detectors need to be located. The State Fire Marshall gives these directions:
  • Every single family dwelling and every multifamily dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of one approved and fully operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within ten (10) feet of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes.


  • If bedrooms are located on separate floors additional carbon monoxide alarms would be necessary within ten feet of these areas.

  • If bedrooms are located in separate areas (on the same level), additional carbon monoxide alarms would be necessary within ten (10) feet of these areas.
If you need further information on Minnesota’s new carbon monoxide detector law, visit the Minnesota Fire Marshall Website at www.fire.state.mn.us
What does this mean for a home seller?
If you do not have CO detectors in your home, you will need to purchase and install them as required or expect any inspector to rate your home as hazardous for not being up to current code. As it just makes good sense to have CO detectors in your home, go out today and make the investment for the safety of yourself and your family members. Not because it is the law, but because it is the right thing to do.
Carbon Monoxide is a SCARY gas!
The scary thing about CO poisoning is that it has no odor or color. There is no warning that there has been any exposure to anything! Most people die or become seriously ill when exposed to the gas because they think they have the flu or a virus. The initial symptoms are similar to many illnesses: nausea, headache, fatigue. When a person has been seriously exposed, there is confusion. This, combined with severe drowsiness, is often a lethal combination as the affected person or persons cannot think straight and often just lie down and go to sleep without knowing that they are being poisoned.
There are simple and inexpensive ways to protect your family from this deadly poison. The time is now to take those steps!
  • Don't leave a fire to burn out and smolder in your fireplace.


  • Don't use your stove, range, oven or dryer as a heat source.


  • Never leave your car to warm up in your garage-Even with the door open.


  • Never barbecue inside your home or garage.


  • Have furnace and other fuel burning appliances checked regularly by qualified professional and verify that all appliances are adequately ventilated.


  • Check periodically that your vents and chimneys are not blocked by a nest or other debris. (Or two feet of snow that just fell in Minnesota this past week!)


  • Purchase and place Carbon Monoxide detectors that have a loud alarm within 10 feet of every bedroom in your home.
Even if you don't leave in Minnesota, don't wait for your state to enact a law. This law is only on the books in Minnesota because a large number of people have died needlessly. Protect yourself and your family by purchasing a CO detector with an alarm. For under $50, it is one of the best investments you can make in your home.
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