The Silent Killer: Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is extremely poisonous and can kill within minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 20,000 people are poisoned by carbon monoxide each year and more than 500 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the United States. Most incidents are caused by poorly-maintained heating systems or gas stoves and gas-powered generators used for heat or power during storms.


What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is gas is produced when fossil fuel is incompletely burned. Some of the fuels that produce carbon monoxide are coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, and gas heating systems also produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause cognitive impairment, loss of consciousness, coma, and often death.


Anyone can be exposed to this dangerous gas and the problem is that it is very hard to identify. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms may include dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and general confusion. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a safety hazard that we should always keep in mind. Detecting excess amounts of carbon monoxide gas is easily done with carbon monoxide detectors or alarms. They are similar to smoke detectors. Every home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector. Having a carbon monoxide alarm can save your life. The alarm or detector alerts residents of the presence of this deadly, odorless gas. Without the alarm, everyone inside could die from exposure.


Are carbon monoxide detectors/alarms required in rental properties?

We can all agree that it would be a great idea to have carbon monoxide detectors required by law in every rental home, unfortunately roughly half of the 50 United States require landlords to provide and maintain carbon monoxide detectors. It’s important for landlords to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure and keep their tenants safe. If you are a landlord you should do your research and see the laws that apply for your state and your specific situation.


States that require carbon monoxide detectors:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

If a carbon monoxide detector is not legally required, we would advise tenants to make a wise investment and install them. The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is by purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm.

For professional property management call us today, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.