The Washington Building Code Council has finalized the Carbon Monoxide Alarm rules for Washington State. By January 1, 2013 all apartment units and all rental properties must have carbon monoxide alarms installed. This is different from Oregon law that specifies installing the carbon monoxide alarms only when a carbon monoxide source is present.
By January 1, 2013 CO alarms must be installed in existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels and single family residences.
Other timelines for CO alarms in Washington State:
By January 1, 2011 state law required CO alarms to be installed in any new single family homes and residences, including apartments, condominiums, hotels and motels.
Owner-occupied single family residences, legally occupied before July 26, 2009 are not required to have CO alarms until they are sold.
There are few exemptions and mostly apply to college dormitories, certain hotels/motels, and DSHS-licensed boarding home and residential treatment facilities so long as no carbon monoxide source is present.
Alarms must be located outside of each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom and on each level of the residence.
Single station carbon monoxide alarms must be listed as complying with UL 2034, and installed in accordance with the code and the manufacturer’s instructions.
Combined CO and smoke alarms are permitted.
Click Here for CO Alarm Fact Sheet
Effective April 1, 2011 the state of Oregon mandates carbon monoxide alarm(s) in residential housing that contain a carbon monoxide source.
A carbon monoxide source is defined as a heater, fireplace, appliance or cooking source that uses coal, kerosene, petroleum products, wood or other fuels that emit carbon monoxide as a by-product of combustion, or an attached garage with an opening directly into a living space.
Exemptions: Carbon monoxide alarms are not required if the unit does not contain a carbon monoxide source and is not connected by a door, ductwork, or ventilation shaft to a room containing a carbon monoxide source.
An alarm must be located within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door, or within each bedroom.
Bedrooms on separate floors of a structure require separate alarms. An alarm is also required to be installed in any enclosed common area if it is connected by a door, ductwork, or ventilation shaft to a room containing a carbon monoxide source and a dwelling unit.
Landlord is required to provide tenant with written instructions on testing carbon monoxide alarms no later than when the tenant first takes possession of the premises. The law also prohibits renting property or transferring title of property if containing carbon monoxide source without detectors.
A $250 penalty applies per unit including court and attorney fees for non compliance. Law requires tenant to test carbon monoxide detectors every six months (same as smoke alarms) and replace batteries as needed. Tenant is also required to notify landlord in writing of any operating deficiencies.