Illinois CO detector law appears to help

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, February 1, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.--The state law here that requires that CO detectors be installed in all homes, which had its one-year anniversary on Jan.1, appears to be working, according a story in on the subject.
Following incidents in recent years where homes had dangerous levels of CO, fire authorities have seen, in the last year, increased use of detectors.
"Bloomington Deputy Fire Chief David Adelsberger said calls to his department indicate CO detector use was rising before the law went into effect. But his department saw a sharp increase in the last year," the story said.
Bloomington firefighters received more than 60 calls about carbon monoxide detector alarms, compared to 17 calls in 2006 and eight in 2005.
In neighboring Normal, Fire Chief Jim Watson is quoted as saying his department handled more than 90 calls for CO alarms this year, up from about 70 in 2006.
Watson said many of the calls were related to "weak batteries triggering false alarms or open doors to attached garages allowing car exhaust into houses ... however, at least a couple of calls did lead to identification of problems with furnaces that could have become larger problems."
Security System News checked with David Myers, Midwest regional sales manager for System Sensor, in Illinois about CO detector sales in the state. "There's definitely been a dramatic increase in sales because of the law," he said.
Myers' territory includes 10 states and he said he frequently hears discussions outside of Illinois about the possibility of implementing similar laws. Currently 12 states have mandatory CO detector laws. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. We hear it all over," he said.
Richard Robert, senior product manager at System Sensor said in addition to Illinois, the states of Minnesota, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Utah, Tennessee, Alaska, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia all have mandatory CO detector laws.
"A law is pending in Michigan right now and California is potentially taking a look at a mandate," he said. In addition, he said Texas passed a CO law last year that seeks to increase awareness about the dangers of CO, but it is not a mandate.