July 1, 2010 was the date set by the Washington State Legislature for implementation of the law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in single family residences. As of that date all single family residences would be required to have a carbon monoxide alarms. If you had
been in that residence prior to July 26, 2009 you would be exempted from the requirement. It is hard to imagine why anyone would figure it is a good idea to not have one—but that is what freedom is all about I guess.
As of January 1, 2011, all newly constructed buildings classified for residential occupancy have to have carbon monoxide alarms, with a grace period for older residences until January 1, 2013. In other words every residence in Washington State will require carbon monoxide alarms by January 1, 2013.
Those owner-occupied single family residences that were not required to install the alarms are required to install them in the home before the home can be occupied after being sold—-as of January 1, 2011 (This part is a little confusing because the law is retroactive to July 26, 2009).
There is a provision in the law for the code council to exempt certain classes of residential buildings, but as of now the law reads “ALL.” With recent state cutbacks it may be some time before this becomes part of the building code—so for now we have to work with the ambiguity of the law. I have to think that at some point everyone will come to their senses and realize that electrically heated homes with no combustion appliances do not need carbon monoxide detectors. But for now the law reads ALL.
The last requirement of the law is interesting because it puts responsibility for maintenance of these alarms on the “tenant,” the person living in the building. I feel this is as it should be—the same with smoke alarm/detectors. We all need to take responsibility for these devices—take responsibility for our own safety regarding fire and carbon monoxide.
Washington State Carbon Monoxide Alarm Law—RCW 19.27.530