BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1091
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND LABOR
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
09:46 AM -- House Bill 09-1091
Representative Soper and Representative Court, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 09-1091 concerning a requirement that carbon monoxide alarms be installed in residential properties. This bill requires that all single and multi-family dwellings sold after July 1, 2009, be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms near bedrooms if the dwelling has:
- a fuel burning heater or appliance;
- a fireplace; and/or
- an attached garage.
Further, the bill requires that any building permit issued for new construction of a single or multi-family dwelling, including rental properties, be subject to the same provisions.
The bill establishes requirements for the maintenance and installation of alarms in rental properties and requires that prior to renting to a new tenant a landlord must replace or repair an existing alarm, as needed. A multi-family rental building may be installed with an alarm near the central heating unit in the building if the alarm is able to notify a responsible person. The bill permits a local government to set more stringent requirements for the installation of alarms. Finally, the bill grants immunity from liability to any person who properly installs or maintains a carbon monoxide alarm. The sponsors responded to questions from the committee.
Representative Balmer asked if there are other states that have local codes in state statute. Representative Liston asked how a seller of a home can prove he or she is in compliance with the bill. Representative Court explained that the buyer's inspector will tell the seller whether they are compliance with the bill or not.
10:01 AM -- Andrea Glass, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She talked about how carbon monoxide poisoning has affected her family. She talked about a couple that they know where the husband died and the wife was brain damaged in a hotel due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ms. Glass explained another experience her family had with carbon monoxide at their cabin in the mountains. She said they brought carbon monoxide detectors with them to the cabin and the detectors immediately went off. The fire department advised them to leave. She explained that the carbon monoxide detectors saved their lives.
10:07 AM -- Kim Scott, representing the Red, White, and Blue Fire District in Breckenridge, testified in support of the bill. She said that her department was the one that responded to the carbon monoxide emergency that the previous witness discussed. Ms. Scott discussed the effects carbon monoxide and listed some statistics about carbon monoxide. Representative Liston asked about the detectors and whether they beep or flash a light. She explained that there are various types of detectors that are available. He asked how effective the detectors are per square footage of a home. She said they recommend one on each level of a home and outside each sleeping area. She said the detectors explain this on the package. Representative Court talked about what the bill states in regards to the number of detectors that would be required in a home.
Representative Scanlan asked how many calls the fire department goes on relating to carbon monoxide. Ms. Scott stated they go on about five to ten calls a week in Breckenridge. She explained some reasons for the high number of calls than normal, one being many buildings are in the process of converting from propane to natural gas. Representative Scanlan asked if the other mountain areas are experiencing the same number. Representative Ryden asked whether there are any inspections done during the conversions. Ms. Scott said that the buildings are being inspected. Representative Priola asked about the sensitivity of the detectors and how many parts per million of carbon monoxide is needed to set one off. Captain Scott said she did not know. There was a discussion about the life of detectors and how often they should be changed. Representative Court explained that the one she had as a display for the committee said it has seven years of continued use.
10:19 AM -- Neil Rosenberger, also representing the Red, White, and Blue Fire District in Breckenridge, testified in support of the bill. He stated that in his almost 30 years of service he has gone on hundreds of carbon monoxide calls. He said technology allows emergency crews to respond quickly and effectively now. There was a discussion about the proper placement of carbon monoxide detectors and whether they should be placed on the ceiling or in an electrical outlet closer to the ground.
10:33 AM -- Maria Dempsey, sister of Carolyn Lofgren who, along with her family, died of carbon monoxide poisoning, testified in support of the bill. She talked about her sister and her sister's husband and two children that died from carbon monoxide poisoning. She said the bill would protect Coloradoans.
10:37 AM -- Dr. Feuerbah, a friend of the Lofgren family, testified in support of the bill. He stated that education and prevention is key. He talked about his loss and experience with carbon monoxide.
10:38 AM -- Dr. Robinson, Mr. Lofgren's partner, testified in support of the bill and talked about the Center for Disease Control's website on carbon monoxide and encouraged the committee to look at it. He talked about a similar bill to House Bill 1091 that passed 40 to zero in Virginia.
10:42 AM -- Dr. Eric Lavonas, representing the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, testified in support of the bill. He said he got involved in carbon monoxide prevention after seeing so many patients that were affected by it. He distributed carbon monoxide detectors to the committee. He suggested one alarm per group of bedrooms in a home. Mr. Lavonas stated that outside of the abuse of drugs, carbon monoxide is the number one killer among poisoning. Representative Liston asked about the cost of treatment for a case of carbon monoxide poisoning. Mr. Lavonas responded.
10:53 AM -- Sunny Banka, representing the Colorado Association of Realtors, testified in support of the bill. She said the bill needs some clarification.
10:57 AM -- Nancy Burke, representing the Colorado Apartment Association, signed up to testify in support of the bill but was not present when called.
10:57 AM -- Mr. Wheeler, representing the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council, testified in support of the bill.
10:59 AM -- Meghan Pfaustiel, representing the Rocky Mountain Home Association, testified in support of the bill. She talked about the code the association follows and said they will soon require carbon monoxide detectors. Ms. Pfaustiel said the association is working with the sponsors of the bill to coordinate the bill with the rule.
11:00 AM -- Barbara Moilien, representing herself and her daughter, Lauren Johnson, the University of Denver student who recently died in her apartment of carbon monoxide poisoning, testified in support of the bill. She talked about her daughter and the affect her death has had on her life.
11:04 AM -- Andrew Maxwell, representing himself, testified in support of the bill and also talked about Lauren Johnson. He talked about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors. He said in Colorado, nine lives will be lost every year without the passage of this bill.
11:07 AM -- Don Johnson, representing himself and his daughter Lauren Johnson, testified in support of the bill. He talked about his daughter and the fact that twenty dollars would have saved her life. Mr. Johnson also distributed a handout about his daughter (Attachment B).
11:10 AM -- Nancy Burke, representing the Colorado Apartment Association, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Burke responded to questions from the committee.
Representative Rice announced that action would be taken on the bill on a later date because there was no fiscal note available.