(35th District, NY) Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced Amanda’s Law, protecting families from carbon monoxide poisoning, was put into effect today. Carbon monoxide poison, which is responsible 500 deaths each year, is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it is both invisible and odorless. The bill was named in remembrance of Amanda Hanson, a 16-year-old who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping over at a friend’s house.
The new legislation requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in all one-family and two-family homes, condominiums or cooperatives, and multiple dwellings where there are heating and cooking appliances that emit the gas. The law also requires detectors on new construction sites to be hard-wired in; only battery-operated detectors are required in existing homes. Inspectors will issue citations to building owners violating the law and tenants can also report landlord negligence to an appropriate enforcement agency.
“Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless poison, making it even more lethal to individuals exposed to the gas. Amanda’s Law will make homes across the state safer by requiring that carbon monoxide detectors are installed in residential buildings,” Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins concluded.
Carbon monoxide is produced from burning fuels such as wood, natural gas, propane, oil, kerosene and gasoline. In order to prevent poisoning:
- Never run generators in indoor spaces. Generators should only be operated outdoors away from and downwind of buildings.
- Never use a gas oven for warmth because they can cause a build-up of toxic carbon monoxide in your home.
- Never use a charcoal grill indoors.
- Never run any gasoline powered engine (i.e. automobile, lawnmower, snow blower) in an enclosed space. Always open the garage door first.
The senator urged anyone who believes they may be suffering carbon monoxide poisoning to open windows and doors, and go directly to the emergency room for testing.
“These detectors are an easy and inexpensive measure of precaution that can be taken to save hundreds of lives each year. It is in every family’s best interest to check that the detector is fully operational and that the building they live in complies with the new regulations,” Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.
For more information on poison control call the New York Regional Poison Control Center at
1-800-222-1222 or visit http://www.health.state.ny.us/professionals/poison_control/centers.htm.