Senath rental owners now required to install carbon monoxide detectors

SENATH, MO (KAIT) - The Senath city council approved an ordinance that requires owners of rental properties to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.


Senath mayor Joe Lane said the ordinance, which was approved Monday, will take effect immediately. 


"We've had two incidents where people have nearly died. We can't make people install them in their homes, but we can make the rental owners," Mayor Lane said. "We're just trying to save lives."


In January, a family in Senath was hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning after using a stove to heat their home. Mayor Lane said the incident earlier this year is part of the reason for the ordinance.


"One of them finally pulled himself out the door and called for help and the other spent the night in the hospital. So, it was just a matter of minutes before he would have been dead."


Senath police chief Omar Karnes said the ordinance gives police officers the power to enter residences to check for the detectors.


Bobby Nichols has 15 properties ready to rent in Senath. "It will make me feel a whole lot more secure about my properties, and it'll be another selling point for my renters."


Nichols said most of his properties already have smoke detectors, and he has considered monoxide alarms in the past. "The only problem I have with them is that some of my people disconnect them because they go off more often than they'd like for them to."


"They just didn't seem to work correctly. They would give false readings or whatever. So, I never did put them in, but I will check out the newer ones and find the best ones that can be had, and that's what I'I'll put in the houses."


Mayor Lane plans to give property owners time to comply before police officers begin performing checks in the residences.


"We're not just going to jump on them tomorrow, but we will be checking periodically," he said.


"It's an ordinance and that's something our chief of police will enforce like he does the rest of the law, and he's very good at it."

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