Fighting A Silent Killer

Friday, April 27th 2007, 6:00 am
By: News On 6

Fire chiefs from across the state are meeting in Tulsa this weekend. On Saturday, they'll get free carbon monoxide detectors to put in their bunk houses. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports these installations are protecting Oklahoma firefighters from a silent killer.

Tulsa firefighter Craig Coats is installing a new carbon monoxide detector for fire station number four on 12th street. It's a donation from the Kidde company which makes the detectors.

"CO is a very dangerous gas, and the detectors are the only way to protect yourself from that," said Coats.

Kidde is donating 500 carbon monoxide detectors to fire stations across Oklahoma to be used in the bunk rooms and living quarters.

"All of our facilities use gas appliances, gas hot water heaters, so we're just as much at risk of this kind of an incident in a fire station as anyone in their home," said Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles.

Tulsa fire stations already had some detectors. The donated ones will improve safety even more and will especially help smaller departments that may not already have detectors.

"I think we're going to see a big impact and lives saved," said fire marshal agent Terry Ferrel.

Not only will the donation help with the safety of firefighters while they're at the station, it's also hoped that the donation increases awareness about the danger of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide kills more than 2,000 people each year nationwide and sends 40,000 people to the emergency room.

"It actually kills by suffocation," said Bowles. "It is odorless, colorless, it cannot be detected by any senses we posses, and its effect is to cause a very deep sleep from which you never come out."

The detectors will help prevent that, providing peace of mind for firefighters and more protection for the people protecting us.

A bill is moving through the Oklahoma legislature that would require places like hotels, apartments, movie theaters and other public buildings to install carbon monoxide detectors. It unanimously passed the state Senate and is now in the House.

Watch the video: Protecting Those Who Protect Us

Senate Bill No. 133

SENATE BILL NO. 133 - By: LERBLANCE of the Senate and HARRISON of the House.
An Act relating to carbon monoxide alarms; amending 74 O.S. 2001, Section 324.11a, which relates to smoke detectors; requiring installation of certain approved carbon monoxide alarms; defining term; requiring certain alarms by certain date; requiring certain property owners to perform certain duties; and providing an effective date.
SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 74 O.S. 2001, Section 324.11a, is amended to read as follows:
Section 324.11a A. Any person, partnership, corporation, organization, the state, or city, town, county, or other subdivision of this state, owning a building or structure used as a hospital, church, theater, hotel, motel, apartment house, rooming house, dormitory, rest home, nursing home, day nursery, convalescent home, auditorium, or child care institution, existing or constructed in the State of Oklahoma, shall install in such building or structure a smoke detector or detectors and an approved carbon monoxide alarm in accordance with the nationally recognized codes, standards, or practices adopted by the State Fire Marshal Commission to safeguard life and property from the hazards of smoke, and fire and carbon monoxide.
B. For the purpose purposes of this section, the term "smoke detector" means a device which is:
1. Designed to detect visible or invisible products of combustion;
2. Designed with an alarm audible to the rooms it serves;
3. Powered by either battery, alternating current, or other power source; and
4. Tested and listed for use as a smoke detector by a recognized testing laboratory.
C. For the purposes of this section, "approved carbon monoxide alarm" means a device:
1. Meant for the purpose of detecting carbon monoxide that produces a distinct audible alarm, and that is listed by a nationally recognized, independent, not-for-profit product-safety testing and certification laboratory to conform to the latest Underwriters Laboratories Standards or Canadian Standard Association;
2. That is a battery powered, plug-in device with battery backup or wired into the dwelling’s AC power line with secondary battery backup;
3. That may be combined with a smoke detecting device; provided that, the combined device complies with applicable law regarding both a smoke detecting device and a carbon monoxide alarm and that the combined unit emits an alarm and voice warning in a manner that clearly differentiates between the two hazards.
D. Any person, partnership, corporation, state, municipality, county, or other subdivision of this state who is a lessor of a residential rental property shall explain to the lessee or tenant the method of testing the smoke detector and approved carbon monoxide alarm to ensure that it is such devices are in working order. The responsibility for checking a smoke detector or approved carbon monoxide alarm to find out whether such detector or alarm is in working order is with the tenant or lessee leasing or renting a one- or two-family dwelling, including an apartment in each apartment house, and not with the person, partnership, corporation, state, municipality, county, or other subdivision of this state who is a lessor of the residential rental property to the lessee or tenant.
D. E. Beginning November 1, 1997, all new construction or remodeling of residential dwellings which require a building permit shall include the installment of smoke detectors or the electrical wiring necessary for the installment of electrical smoke detectors.
E. F. Beginning November 1, 2008, all new construction or remodeling of residential dwellings which require a building permit shall include the installment of approved carbon monoxide alarms.
G. Any person who violates any provision of subsection A of this section or any person who tampers with, removes, destroys, disconnects or removes power from any installed smoke detector, except in the course of inspection, maintenance or replacement of the detector, upon conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
F. H. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow any political subdivision in this state to enact laws imposing upon owners of any dwelling described in subsection A of this section a greater duty with regard to the installation, testing, repair and replacement of smoke detectors or approved carbon monoxide alarms than is required by this section.
G. I. The State Fire Marshal Commission shall prescribe, adopt, and promulgate the rules necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section which shall include a practical time table for compliance with the provisions of this act.
H. J. Municipalities may enact ordinances in order to enforce the rules of the State Fire Marshal Commission as provided by this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2007.
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