Smoke alarms are easy to find in homes across Wisconsin, and a state lawmaker wants carbon monoxide detectors to be just as prevalent. Legislation being considered at the Capitol would require the devices to be installed in every home, similar to the existing requirement for smoke alarms.
State Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), the sponsor of the bill, says Current law already requires the devices in multi-family housing, hotels, and dorms. However, it does not apply to single family homes or duplexes, where the majority of carbon monoxide poisonings occur each year. Hintz says a 2005 report found 72-percent of carbon monoxide related fire calls in the Badger State went to those types of residences.
The bill would add one or two family homes to the existing requirements.
Hintz says carbon monoxide detectors are a low-cost way to save lives, and homeowners would have plenty of time to install them. The bill does not carry any criminal penalties for those who fail to comply, but home inspectors would be required to not their presence when reviewing a property that’s for sale.
The bill is awaiting action in a legislative committee.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:11)