Atlantic Fire Chief reminder to landlords: Properties must have carbon monoxide alarms

News

November 8th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees reminds landlords or others with rental properties, and those persons planning construction of new homes or the sale of existing homes, that the law in Iowa requires those residences to have Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  He says effective July 1st 2018, a new law went into effect that requires carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties – single or multi-family units – you must provide and install those alarms in each unit, unless there is no fuel burning source of heat. Homes/apartment with electric are okay, but if there is a garage attached where a vehicle stored, an alarm is needed there as well.

If a tenant has approached their landlord about installing a carbon monoxide alarm, and it isn’t taken care of promptly, the renter has another option. The tenant can purchase their own and install it, then submit their receipt to the landlord and have the cost taken off their next month’s rent. Or, the renter may be simply reimbursed for the cost, depending on the arrangement. The detectors typically cost around $20 if they are batter operated, or around $30 if they are a plug-in type. Rentors who run into push back from their landord can notify the Atlantic Fire Department. McNees said he or someone in the department will make sure the landlord is aware of their responsibilities, just like they were notified when the smoke detector law went into effect.

Landlords who have questions about the law, can click on this PDF link for review. Chief McNees said the alarms should be installed near a gas-fired furnace or fireplace, on every floor if possible, or in an apartment building, in every unit. He said unfortunately, there have been deaths in Atlantic and the area, from carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, with regard to home heating in these cold months ahead, McNees reminds area residents about the dangers of space heaters: Make sure there is a dedicated line to plug them in, don’t overload the plug-in, or leave space heaters unattended. Space heaters should never be located near curtains or other flammable materials. The same applies to the use of candles.