Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms In Oregon

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

IT’S THE LAW!  In Oregon a person may not convey fee title to any real property that includes a dwelling unit or lodging house, or transfer possession of any dwelling unit or lodging house pursuant to a land sale contract, unless there is installed in the dwelling unit or lodging house a smoke detector or the required number of approved smoke alarms, installed in accordance with the Sate Building Code and Rules of the State Fire Marshal.  (ORSA 479.260)

The Real Estate Sales Agreement  has a provision notifying the seller they have 10 days from acceptance of the offer to installing the necessary smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Yet, when a home inspection is conducted it often comes back with improperly installed, missing, or outdated smoke alarms or no carbon monoxide.  Sometimes the home inspector just doesn’t check and calls for new ones anyway.

Last month I had two inspections that called out the need for carbon monoxide detectors.  What was puzzling to me was one of the houses was new 2 years ago and would have HAD to have the property smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed when it was built.  The other house had undergone a total remodel and also sold 3 years prior and would also had to have had the proper alarms installed.  

One of the houses was a 2nd home so the seller’s were not living at the house.  In order to avoid them having to hire a handyman/contractor to install smoke and CO detectors, I went to the house, used their ladder in the garage, climbed up and unscrewed the cover plate and took a photo of the Combo Smoke and CO alarm.  Two weeks later the same thing happened and only this time the sellers were living there so they climbed their ladder and took a photo.  Both houses had the proper detectors installed and avoided the costly replacement and addition of detectors.  With the Cover removed it is clear that it is a combo Smoke/CO Alarm.

Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

My advise to buyers now is when interviewing home inspectors  is to ask if they actually check the alarms by removing the cover which shows the date of the alarm was manufactured.   I also am asking home inspectors  to inspect one of my listings, that if they call for a smoke and/or CO alarm that they take the cover off and show a photo that it is outdated and/or not a combo smoke and Carbon monoxide  

I informed both buyer’s brokers the alarms were correctly installed and also had to provide the information to the appraiser who’s responsibility is to make sure the property smoke and CO detectors are installed.