Monday, November 22, 2010

Washington State Legislature Has Postponed The Carbon Monoxide Alarm Installment Requirement

The Washington State Building Code Council took action postponing the requirement that all existing multi-family housing units in Washington State be equipped with at least one carbon monoxide alarm by July 1, 2011. The Council will now start a new rulemaking process that will allow time for further consideration of stakeholder interests.

New rules will likely be established by November 2011 and take effect July 1, 2012. It is expected that the new regulation will require installation of alarms in units by July 1, 2012. Like current Oregon laws, MMHA said that it expects its allies in Washington to seek an exemption for those buildings that do not have a source of carbon monoxide. Without the action today, carbon monoxide alarms would have been required in all existing buildings by July 1, 2011. New units are still required to have the alarms installed on January 1, 2011.

The Metro Multifamily Housing Association delivered this news to members on Friday.  "Obviously, MMHA and our Washington allies are pleased with successfully delaying the deadline for carbon monoxide alarm installation. However, there is much work remaining to be done on this issue." 

MMHA stressed the importance of pointing out that carbon monoxide remains a serious health threat. "Winter windstorms and associated power losses pose the greatest risk in the Northwest for illness or death caused by carbon monoxide poisoning." MMHA urged all its members to have written materials on hand and ready to distribute to residents when a threat of loss of power is imminent. A printed warning is available in 25 languages at: http://kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/preparedness/disaster/carbon-monoxide.aspx