Carbon Monoxide Deaths Highlight Need for Detectors

A New York restaurant manager was killed and 27 others were hospitalized after a carbon monoxide leak went unnoticed in the restaurant's basement, and fire officials say incidents like these highlight the need for detectors.

South Carolina Fire Marshal Chief Shane Ray says the state adopted the 2012 International Fire and Building Code, which requires residential and institutional places that come in contact with the colorless and odorless gas to have a detector.

"If you have a wood stove, if your garage is attached where your car can be running, if you use alternative fuels like a kerosene heater," said Ray. "Anything that would produce a carbon monoxide is why the code requires a detector."

The code, however, doesn't regulate businesses. Chief Ray says even if it's not mandated, installing a detector is a cheap and proactive approach to safety.

"You need that detection, you need that early warning in order to escape and then you need to know how to get out of that situation and that's very important," said Ray. "The carbon monoxide deaths we've had in this state already didn't have detection systems so they had no means of warning."

Chief Ray adds incidents like the one in New York will prompt fire officials to look at changing the code for its new adoption in 2015.


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