An individual or entity should not rely on these FAQs to determine
compliance with the statutes or rules. The questions and answers presented here do not
constitute legal advice.
General Carbon Monoxide Alarm Information
Q. What is a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?
A. A CO alarm detects CO and produces a distinctive audible
alert when CO is detected. It may be a standalone unit or part of an alarm
system. (OAR 837-047-0110)
Q. What types of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are available?
A. CO alarm: Activated by CO, Smoke/CO
alarm: Activated by smoke or CO, and Gas or Explosive Gas/CO alarm:
Activated by CO, propane, or natural/methane gas. CO alarms must be battery
operated or receive their primary power source from the building wiring with a
battery back-up. Plug in devices must have a battery back-up. (OAR
Q. What is a carbon monoxide (CO) source?
A. A heater, fireplace, appliance (i.e., furnace, dryer, or water
heater), or cooking source (i.e., stove, oven) that uses coal, kerosene,
petroleum products, wood, or other fuels (i.e., oil or natural gas) that emit
CO as a by-product of combustion; or an attached garage with an opening that
communicates directly with a living space. (OAR 837-047-0110)
Q. Where do I install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms?*
A. Install CO alarms on each level of your home with bedrooms
CO alarm must be located within each bedroom or within 15 feet outside
of each bedroom door. Bedrooms on separate floors in a structure
containing two or more stories require separate CO alarms.
CO alarms must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's
recommended instructions. (OAR 837-047-0130)
* Please note: this is
required when selling or renting a home.
Q. Are carbon monoxide (CO) alarms required in bedrooms?
A. No, but it is recommended to install them in the bedrooms
and within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door. The law requires a CO alarm in
each bedroom or within 15 feet of each bedroom door; however, ductwork from
sources often goes directly to bedrooms, bypassing hallways outside of them.
Q. May I replace a hard-wired smoke alarm with a carbon monoxide
(CO) and smoke alarm?
A. Yes. You may replace a hardwired smoke alarm with a hardwired with
battery back-up CO/smoke alarm
from one manufacturer’s unit to another may require a power adapter plug.
advise adapter plugs may be changed using wire nuts and may require a
Q. Are carbon monoxide (CO) alarms required on every level?
A. No. They are required on each level with bedrooms (sleeping
areas). (OAR 837-047-030)
Q. How often do I replace my carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?
A. CO alarms should be replaced when the end-of-life signal is
activated, the manufacturer’s replacement date is reached, or when they fail to
respond to operability tests. (NFPA 720)
Q. How do I keep my carbon monoxide (CO) alarm working?
A. Test alarms monthly. CO alarms must be maintained, tested,
and batteries replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommended
instructions. (OAR 837-047-0150)
Q. What should I do when the carbon monoxide (CO) alarm sounds?
A. Get outside to fresh air and call 9-1-1 or your local
emergency number for help. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning,
get medical attention immediately.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Information for Realtors, Home
Sellers and Home Buyers
Q. Are carbon monoxide (CO) alarms required when selling a home?
A. If a home has a CO source, CO alarms are required before it can be sold. Effective April
1, 2011, sellers of one- and two-family dwellings, manufactured dwellings, or
multifamily housing containing a CO source must have one or more properly
functioning CO alarms before conveying fee title or transferring possession of
a dwelling. (OAR 837-047-0120)
Q. Are carbon monoxide alarms required in new home construction or
A. Yes. The CO alarm requirements for new construction,
reconstruction, alteration, and repair are applicable regardless of the
presence of a CO source. (OSSC, Carbon Monoxide Alarms 908.7)
Q. Can I have battery-operated CO alarms in new construction?
A. Yes. Section R315.4.1 of the 2011 ORSC states “Single station CO
alarms shall be battery operated, or may receive their primary power from the
building wiring system.” If a homeowner chooses to install the electrical
plug-in type, those CO alarms need to have a battery back-up feature.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Information for Property
Management, Landlords, and Tenants
Q. Are carbon monoxide (CO) alarms required in rental dwelling
A. If you have a CO source, CO alarms are required in rental dwelling
units. Effective April 1, 2011, landlords must provide properly
functioning CO alarms for one- and two-family dwelling or multifamily housing
containing a CO source. The landlord shall provide a new tenant with alarm
testing instructions. If a CO alarm is battery-operated or has a
battery-operated backup system, the landlord shall supply working batteries for
the alarm at the beginning of a new tenancy. (OAR 837-047-0120, 0160)
Q. What are my obligations as a tenant?
A. A tenant must test, at least once every six months, and replace
batteries as needed in any CO alarm provided by the landlord and notify the
landlord in writing of any operating deficiencies. (OAR 837-047-0160)
A tenant may not remove or tamper with a CO alarm. Tampering
includes removal of working batteries. (OAR 837-047-0170)
Q. What do I do if I am renting and have a CO source, and my
landlord has not provided a working CO alarm?
A. A tenant must notify the landlord in writing of any
operating deficiencies. (837-047-0160)
If the landlord receives written notice from the tenant of a
deficiency in a CO alarm, other than dead batteries, the landlord shall repair
or replace the alarm. (ORS 90.317)