As of April 1, 2012, Washington State law (RCW 19.27.530) requires homes to have CO detectors installed. Why the change? Every year folks die from carbon monoxide poisoning from bringing inside outdoor cooking devices, generators, and even a additional heat source. Typically, people resort to these measures when the power goes out for an extended period of time. The State decided it is time to enact a law to save lives yet it still requires folks to actually purchase and install CO detectors, $15 – $35 at Home Depot.
When out showing homes CO detectors can be readily seen throughout the homes, we encourage our sellers to install them so a home inspector doesn’t note them in the inspection report. Yet, time and time again, and primarily with bank owned homes, I see the carbon monoxide detectors install incorrectly. In the right hand image, the CO detector is placed next to the light switch and every foreclosure I’ve sold the detectors are in the same place. That is a horrible place to install them. Why? Because CO is a heavier than air gas and CO fills a room from the bottom up.