The Push for Stricter Carbon Monoxide Laws

Carbon monoxide laws

After the Niles hotel carbon monoxide poisoning, carbon monoxide laws are being re-examined. Michigan law requires carbon monoxide detectors in hotels built after 2009.

With carbon monoxide tragedies in the news lately, there has been a push from advocates for stricter carbon monoxide laws. It has been revealed that a group representing hotel management in Michigan was opposed to these stricter carbon monoxide laws. According to WWMT.com West Michigan, the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) opposed legislation that would have prevented the Niles, Mich. hotel carbon monoxide poisoning. Last week, another carbon monoxide poisoning in a Michigan hotel led to the evacuation of 60 patrons and employees.

The Michigan law currently requires hotels built after 2009 to have carbon monoxide detectors. The original law did not have this kind of provision. If the law passed as advocates wanted it to, the Niles, Mich. hotel carbon monoxide poisoning would not have happened.

The reasons that the MLTA opposed the legislation was because it is expensive. The originally proposed law required the carbon monoxide detectors to be hard-wired. The MLTA said that commercial grade carbon monoxide detectors were too expensive.

The other reason they stated was that it was not necessary. They had not documented any deaths due to carbon monoxide in Michigan in a hotel setting. Obviously this is not the case anymore after the Niles hotel carbon monoxide poisoning. They cited the fact that other states do not require hotels to have carbon monoxide detectors. This is still the case that many states do not have carbon monoxide detectors. After this tragedy, things need to change. Hopefully, through media coverage and advocacy, this change becomes a reality. The police are still determining whether or not the Niles hotel is responsible for being negligent.

Michigan is not the only place where advocates have called for stronger carbon monoxide laws. A young girl who died after an afternoon of boating with her family is honored with a law. Sophia’s Law, which requires carbon monoxide detectors in Minnesota, took effect recently. Ever since the accident, which was a year and a half ago, her parents have pushed for change.

Another parent whose child died in a Colorado apartment is pushing for stricter carbon monoxide laws. Donald Johnson’s effort is called the Lauren Project. He recently tried to get a law passed in North Dakota that would require carbon monoxide alarms in new construction and existing homes, but the law was vetoed by the governor.

The Quality Inn & Suites which is the site of the Niles carbon monoxide poisoning was built before 2009, so under the law it was not required for them to have detectors. They did not have any detectors. With a stricter law, the tragedy of a child dying could have been prevented. When they were trying to pass a stricter law, the State Fire Marshall, the Department of Labor and the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union were in support of the law. But the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Association of Realtors were in opposition.

Hopefully this will be an illustration of why it is so important to have operational carbon monoxide detectors. This must be true in apartments, hotels, and boats alike.

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