Your Home and Your Health - Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards

What is carbon monoxide? 

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. It is often called the "silent killer" because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes. Unfortunately, hundreds of people accidentally die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. However, there are several things you can do as a homeowner to protect your family.

  1. Winter is upon us here in Minnesota. If you live in a colder climate like Rochester MN, it is important to clear snow drifts away from exhaust vents. 

  2. Open flues when wood fireplaces are in use. 

  3. Do not idle the car inside the garage.

  4. Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.

  5. Have your furnace maintained by a trained professional on a yearly basis.

  6. Install approved and certified carbon monoxide detectors.

Did you know? 

There is a new Minnesota law that has been enacted in order to help prevent carbon monoxide tragedies from occurring. The statute requires a carbon monoxide alarm be installed within 10 feet of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes in every single-family dwelling. This not only includes new construction properties but existing homes as well. 

What does this mean for home buyers? 

When purchasing a home, your home inspector will verify whether the home is properly equipped with the CO detectors as specified by the law. If the detectors are missing, you can request the seller comply with the law and have the detectors installed appropriately before the closing.

What does this mean for home sellers? 

You have a legal obligation to equip the home you are selling with the proper number of detectors in the appropriate areas. It is not sufficient for seller's to purely count on disclosure as a way to get around having the additional cost of purchasing the detectors. It is imperative for sellers to be proactive due to the potential damage that could occur from not having the adequate number of detectors. It's going to come up on a home inspection report, so you might as well get them installed. 

As a bonus, you are protecting your own family!