Disaster Prevention – Now, It’s the Law!

Headache, nausea, fatigue — symptoms of the flu, right?  Could be.  Or,  it may be something even deadlier.
Red flag photoCarbon monoxide poisoning mimics the flu.  Many victims crawl into bed, and fall asleep.
Legislators in Baltimore announced today they are enacting rules requiring landlords to provide carbon monoxide detectors for tenants, including accommodation for tenants with hearing impairments.
This follows a long line of similar laws across the country, all in response to tenant deaths and an increase in the number of near-misses.   See Renter Deaths Prompt New Rules on Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
Take a look at this List of state statutes to get a sense of your responsibilities as a rental property owner or manager.  Please note this summary does not include local ordinances that might apply to you.  Some of these laws lay out specific requirements, for instance, where detectors must be located and who must supply the batteries.
Despite efforts to inform the public of this danger, carbon monoxide is still the leading cause of poisoning deaths.
The problem can be caused by many appliances, not just furnaces.  Wood stoves could be a culprit, as well as overheated battery chargers. Many lawn implements are gas-powered and must be handled with care.  It’s not just old appliances you have to watch out for – new ones can leak, too.
Landlords with multi-level units or enclosed garages must be particularly diligent.
Many tenants don’t know whether they have a carbon monoxide detector in their unit, or what to do if it goes off.  Some mistake it for a malfunctioning smoke detector and disable it.  Do your tenants know what to do when they hear the alarm?
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing.

Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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