In the wake of the carbon monoxide incident in Colorado Springs, the next blog will reflect Colorado carbon monoxide law. The law came after a group of accidental deaths in late 2008 and early 2009. The governor of Colorado at the time, Bill Ritter, signed what is known as the Lofgren and Johnson Families Carbon Monoxide Safety Act into law.

The law is more officially known as House Bill 09-1091. The bill went into effect on July 1st, 2009. The law states that all single and multi-family residences that have fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage that are sold, rented, remodeled, or repaired after July 1, 2009 need to have an operational carbon monoxide detector.

The fact that this applies to only newer buildings is concerning. Most likely the older buildings will be the ones with more fuel-burning appliances, with potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. Seemingly the law is protecting older homes from liability.

The other concerning part of the law, which we have seen in our research of other states, is that the realtor or homeowner has no liability if the carbon monoxide detector was installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Again, the law is seemingly protecting homeowners and realtors from liability. It should do more to focus on protecting of the residents who could be poisoned.

The law applies to all residences whether or not it is a rental or a personal residence. New tenants must be provided with new batteries. If the carbon monoxide detector has been stolen, it must be replaced.

The carbon monoxide alarm must be installed within 15 feet of any area lawfully used for sleeping. It is not clear in the carbon monoxide case in Colorado Springs whether or not the residents had working carbon monoxide alarms. It is under police investigation and details about the incident are not being released at the time.

Under the law, the detector may be plug-in or hardwired. The tenant is responsible for keeping, testing, and maintaining the carbon monoxide detector. The tenant is also responsible for notifying the owner if the detector needs batteries, is stolen, or is unoperational. The notification must be done in writing.

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