Oregon Carbon Monoxide Alarm Rules:

What is Carbon Monoxide & why should I care about it?

Oregon Carbon Monoxide Alarm Law. Oregon CO Alarm Rules. Oregon CO Detectors.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is deadly. We can only detect carbon monoxide when we start to feel the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, vomiting, and confusion. Carbon monoxide will kill a person if inhaled in large enough quantities. The most significant hazard of CO poisoning is that if you are sleeping, you can die before you feel any symptoms. While some people are at higher risk of CO poisoning, no one is immune. Every year more than 20,000 people visit the Emergency Room with CO poisoning concerns and 4,000 are hospitalized. In the United States, approximately 400 people die each year from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?

Carbon monoxide is found in fumes whenever propane, natural gas, wood, charcoal or other combustible fuel is burned. Gas furnaces and stoves, wood and gas fireplaces, cars, grills, and generators all produce CO when operating. If the fumes are not properly and safely vented, Carbon Monoxide can build up in the home.

When should Carbon Monoxide alarms be installed?

  • Every home sold in Oregon that contains a carbon monoxide source must have one or more carbon monoxide alarms installed.

    • Home sellers of one-and two family dwellings, manufactured dwellings, or multifamily housing units in Oregon containing a carbon monoxide source must have one or more properly functioning carbon monoxide alarms before conveying fee title or transferring possession of a dwelling.
    • An attached garage qualifies as a source of carbon monoxide.
  • Homes built or renovated after April 1st, 2011 are required to have a CO alarm installed.

    • A home does not need to have a CO source for this requirement to apply.

Where should Carbon Monoxide alarms be installed?

  • In Oregon, a 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.

When to replace alarms?

The alarm manufacturer will specify the expiration/replacement date for the alarm. Typically this is within 5-7 years of manufacture.

Additional guidelines:

  • Install the alarm according to manufacturer recommendations.

  • Do not place the alarm in direct sunlight, near HVAC registers, or windows.

  • 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.

Further Reading:

Oregon CO Alarm Law Requirements When Selling or Renting a Home

CDC – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning