Tip of the Month - July 2006


Source: (Nolo) Every Landlord’s Legal Guide (4)
By: Marcia Steward & Attorneys Ralph Warner & Janet Portman

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, lethal gas.  Unlike radon, whose deadly effects work over time, CO can build up & kill within a matter of hours.  And, unlike any of the environmental Hazards discussed so far, CO cannot be covered up or managed.

When CO is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream & replaces oxygen.  Dizziness, nausea, confusion & tiredness can result; high concentrations bring on unconsciousness, brain damage & death.  It is possible for someone to be poisoned from CO while sleeping, without waking up.  Needless to say, a CO problem must be dealt with immediately.

Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Problems:

Check chimneys & appliance vents for blockages. In your rules & regulations, prohibit the indoor use of portable gas or charcoal grills. (Crossett R.E.Tip: Also prohibit any pourus heaters.)

Warn Tenants never to use a gas range, clothes dryer or oven for heating. Check pilot lights of gas appliances as part of your regular maintenance routine.  They should show a clear blue flame; a yellow or orange flame may indicate a problem. (Crossett R.E. Tip: Make sure to have National Grid check the heat exchangers on furnaces including but not limited to CO testing. Most all gas appliances today have electronic ignitions.)

**All rental units should have a CO detector in addition to smoke alarms**

Detectors that are connected to the interior wiring of the house & backed-up with emergency batteries are suggested.   
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This web page was updated on 07/06/2006.