Carbon Monoxcide Detectors Could Be Required In Public Places Very Soon

A proposed bill in the State Senate would, if approved, be similar to the current laws that require smoke detectors.

Senate Bill 289 would require owners of residential buildings to install carbon monoxide detectors by this fall.

The legislation has passed both the State Senate and the State Assembly. It’s now been sent to the governor for action.

The bill would require buildings such as, apartments, rooming houses, hotels, university dorms, cabins, and bed and breakfast establishments to have carbon monoxide detectors.

Deputy Fire Chief David Gee says carbon monoxide detectors are an important addition to any home.

Chief Gee says, “It’s a silent killer, there’s no odour, we wouldn’t know it from your senses. These devices can fill that gap.”

According to State Representative Terry Musser, the bill was introduced after several people died fromcarbon monoxide poisoning while staying in a rented cabin.

Gee says just buying a CO detector isn’t enough.

Chief Gee says, “It’s important to read the manual, know the alarm and again, install and maintain them correctly. Like any mechanical device they can wear out or are prone to failure if not maintained correctly.”

An Eau Claire man died last year from carbon monoxide poisoning at a northern Minnesota resort. Even though his bunkhouse was equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, it wasn’t enough.

Kim and Don Bodeau say their son David was your typical 19-year-old. He attended UW-River Falls and wanted to become a dentist.

Kim and Don say, “He was a very hard worker.” David had just started his second summer of working at aresort in northern Minnesota.

Kim and David say, “It had been cold, and he hadn’t slept well the night before, so he turned the heater on that night. Just a typical propane type heater, and went to bed.”

But David would never wake up. His family says he died in his sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning. And the bunkhouse he was staying in, had a carbon monoxide detector.

Kim and David say, “The owner had given him a new battery and told him to replace the battery and to check it. He did that and apparently it worked fine.”

Kim and David say they’ve done a lot of research on carbon monoxide detectors since their son’s death.

Kim and David say, “When we put in new batteries into our carbon monoxide detector, and we press the button, that’s checking the electronic system. It’s not checking the sensor part of the carbon monoxidedetector.”

The Bodeaus say these sensors only last a maximum of 5 to 7 years.

The detector David relied on was almost 11 years old.

Kim and David say, “We thought we’d taken all precautions, David and his employer thought they’d take all precautions.”

The Bodeaus say there’s a simple way to keep track of your detector’s age.

Kim and David say, “What we’ve started doing is put an activated date when we take it out of the package and put the battery in, which seems to be the crucial date.”

The couple then writes a replace by date on the front. Otherwise they say, there’s nothing on these units that says how long they’ll last. They say you should also check the manufacturing date on the backof the detector. Kim and David say, “It’s usually the smallest print on the back of the alarm.”

Kim and David say if they can just help one person, that’ll be enough.

Kim and David say, “Yes we lost our son due to this, but there’s a lot of lives out there that can still be saved.”

Eau Claire Deputy Fire Chief David Gee says to keep anything that’s combustible in good working order as well. That includes gas stoves, water heaters, and gas fireplaces.

He also says it’s important to be aware when you’re in tents and ice shacks.



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