Requiring Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Public Buildings

Tuesday, March 13th 2007, 9:48 pm
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma State Senate unanimously passes a measure designed to fight a silent killer. The bill requires carbon monoxide detectors in most public buildings like hotels, movie theaters, college dorms and more. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports supporters hope it saves lives.

Pam Manos of McAlester says there isn't a day that goes by she doesn't think of her daughter. "Faulty heater. Went to sleep and she never woke up," said Manos.

Three years ago last January, Amanda died from carbon monoxide poisoning, she was only 20.

"It's just a huge hole in your heart. That is going to be there forever,” said Manos. “She was our only child. She was the light of our life. She and I were best friends and she had the whole world ahead of her."

Manos is part of a group lobbying lawmakers to support carbon monoxide legislation. Senate Bill 133 passed unanimously in the State Senate. It requires homes built after November 1, 2008, to install carbon monoxide alarms. Also under the measure, places like nursing homes, apartments, churches and hotels would also have to install carbon monoxide detectors.

"If nothing else, people know to have a fire detector, smoke detector and why not have this too?" Manos said.

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas and is the leading cause of accidental poisonings in the United States. Each year it kills more than 2,000 people nationwide. The only way to detect it is with a carbon monoxide alarm.

Manos says at the very least, the proposal in the Legislature will make more people aware of the hidden danger.

"No one thinks it's going to happen to them personally, but it can," she said.

Under the proposal, the state Fire Marshal's office would oversee the enforcement of the carbon monoxide detector law. About a dozen states already have laws requiring carbon monoxide alarms in certain homes and businesses.