Carter’s bipartisan bill would federally fund installation of more carbon monoxide detectors

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) on March 7 introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning across America.

“This legislation is very important for the safety of Americans,” Rep. Carter said on Thursday. “We have had serious carbon monoxide poisoning incidents at home in the First District of Georgia. While the State of Georgia has made important strides on this issue, there is still more work to be done.”

The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act, H.R. 1618, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), would establish a new grant program to install CO alarms in public facilities, as well as in the homes of senior citizens and low-income individuals, according to the lawmaker’s statement.

If enacted, H.R. 1618 also would provide incentives for states to pass laws to require CO alarms to detect the odorless, colorless gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is absolutely preventable,” said Rep. Kuster. “One carbon monoxide death is too many, and by installing detectors in homes and public buildings, we can protect some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens from this deadly gas.”

Public safety advocacy groups, including Safe Kids Worldwide, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), and the Congressional Fire Services Institute, endorsed H.R. 1618.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average 430 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning annually and over 2,000 more are hospitalized. Many of those affected by this silent killer are among our most vulnerable populations,” said Bill Webb, executive director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. “We applaud Congresswoman Kuster and Congressman Carter for introducing this important, life-saving legislation.”   

NASFM Executive Director Jim Narva added that “the enactment of this bill and its grant program will save countless lives.” 

H.R. 1618 has been referred to both the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and the U.S. House Administration Committee for consideration.“I look forward to working on this critical issue with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Rep. Carter last week.