Winter Park, Fraser asked to consider carbon monoxide detector requirement |

Winter Park, Fraser asked to consider carbon monoxide detector requirement

Autumn Phillips
Winter Park / Fraser, Colorado

The East Grand Fire Department approached both the Winter Park Town Council and Fraser Board of Trustees to amend local building codes to require carbon monoxide detectors in all new and existing buildings.

At both meetings last week, councilors agreed that the first step was launching some sort of educational campaign, rather than integrating it into the code.

The request followed a high publicity death from carbon monoxide poisoning in Aspen this winter.

The death of the Lofgren family in Aspen has prompted local legislation in Pitkin County as well as statewide attention to the issue.

In December, Colorado Rep. John Soper, D-Thornton, and Rep.-elect Lois Court, D-Denver, asked that a failed bill from 2008 be revisited in 2009, requiring carbon monoxide detectors to be installed within 10 feet of each bedroom in any home or apartment with a fireplace, attached garage or fuel-burning heater or appliance if the home is for sale. The requirement also goes for homes that get construction permits after July 1, 2009.

Soper said he wanted to give the failed bill another try after the November death in Aspen. In their memory, the 2009 bill will be called the Lofgren Family Home Safety Act.

Winter Park/Fraser Building Department Official Harold Howland spoke on behalf of the idea of local code changes at Tuesday night’s Winter Park council and Wednesday night’s Fraser board of trustees meeting.

“If we adopt something now, we’ll be ahead of the curve,” he said. The requirement will be included in the 2009 International Residential Building Codes, due out in March. While the Winter Park/Fraser Building Department plans to continue using the 2006 version of the code, Howland said they could easily take the language for carbon monoxide detectors from the code.

“Fire departments have been trying for a long time to have requirements for carbon monoxide detectors, but it hasn’t happened because detectors haven’t been reliable,” Howland said. “Not they are getting better. There are not as many false alarms.”

Both Fraser and Winter Park councils were worried about the logistics of requiring alarms in existing buildings, but saw that it could be an option for future new residential construction.

“I’m not anticipating anything will be adopted,” said Fraser town manager Jeff Durbin. “We just wanted to get the discussion going.”

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