A guest at a West Virginia hotel died of carbon monoxide poisoning this week, and his demise has prompted the local mayor to try to take action. He wants to require that all lodgings in his city install carbon monoxide detectors. But this tragedy is not only a lesson for him, but for states across the nation. 

Tuesday construction worker William Moran, a 44-year-old Rhode Island resident, was found dead in a fifth floor room of the Holiday Inn Express in South Charleston, W. Va., according to the Associated Press. Four other men were also discovered in that room, suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. 


The hotel was evacuated, and authorities found high levels of the deadly gas. They believe the carbon monoxide came from a pool heater.

South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens was shocked by the death, and wants an ordinance drafted to mandate that hotels to install life-saving carbon monoxide detectors, according to the Daily Mail. That paper then went on to do a stellar job of explaining the ridiculousness of hotels being required to have smoke alarms, but not carbon monoxide detectors.


Some 25 states have laws requiring carbon monoxide detectors in residential businesses, including West Virginia. But only a handful of states  — apparently New Jersey, Michigan, Vermont,  Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Minnesota — require the monitors in hotels, according to the Daily Mail.

But the newspaper cites data from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine that says a survey of 100 hotel-chain properties found that only 11 percent of them had installed carbon monoxide detectors.

The Daily Mail also referred to statistics from 1989 to 2004, which said there were 68 incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning at hotels, with 772 sickened. Of those, 27 people died.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends that its members install carbon monoxide detectors in their hotels, according to the Daily Mail.

But what is it going to take, how many senseless deaths, to get national legislation ordering hotels to have carbon monoxide detectors?

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