AR house bill to require carbon monoxide detectors - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AR house bill to require carbon monoxide detectors

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - House Bill 1385 passed Monday in the Arkansas Senate. This bill will require all new homes built after January 1, 2012 to have a low voltage carbon monoxide detector installed.

The bill states where the detector should be installed, what kind of detectors a house can have, and penalties for not following the law.

Will this save lives, or will this just be an expensive add-on to home construction?  

Smoke detection and carbon monoxide detection may not be the first thing that prospective homebuilders think about when they are designing their home.

"This is not something that a homeowner will walk in and start eye-balling and looking for but it's something I think they should."

Brittany Ragsdale is a builder with Sugg Homes. All the new homes they are building have smoke and CO detectors tied in with the low voltage systems. Low voltage being the doorbell, security and cable all routed to a central location where the signals can be monitored both in the house and on line. Ragsdale says it all has to connect and that is the easiest way.

Ragsdale, "Integrates through the smoke detectors into the Carbon Monoxide detectors into the alarms, so everything's integrated."

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless odorless gas and it has an accumulative effect. It can give a victim flu like symptoms or a severe headache or be fatal. Leaving the home for a time can make a person feel better but re-entering the home can bring the symptoms right back.

Brittany says that the overall cost of adding smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to the low voltage system in a new house is really not that big of a cost. She says many times it can cost 200 Dollars to put them in and in a Half Million Dollar home that is a relatively small cost.

If the bill is signed into law it will affect new home construction starting in January 2012. The requirement is for the units to be house powered or battery powered and it can be a combination smoke and CO detector. The bill also states where the units can not be installed and the penalty for non compliance.

JFD Battalion Chief May says carbon monoxide problems can happen any time anywhere and are not limited to Winter and houses that have natural gas or propane coming into them.

May, "Issues with hot water heaters is common, sometimes it's ventilation problems in a home or it could be the way something is improperly installed."

Ragsdale says her fellow contractors need to be installing these detectors in homes being built now.

Ragsdale, "It's something that builders really need to start implementing. Because in 2012 we'll have to."

If you're building a home cut a cost somewhere else.

Ragsdale, "Safety totally outweighs the cost."

Chief May, "It's the cheapest form of life insurance you can buy."

The bill will now be sent to Governor Beebe for his signature or veto.

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