LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln officials said many landlords aren’t aware of a carbon monoxide detector requirement the city adopted a year ago.
The Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/2dKX3Ui ) reported that the policy makes carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in any building with three of more units and an attached garage, fireplace or gas stove.
Eighty-year-old Dale Moyer died last month after accidentally leaving his car running in the garage of his building. The gas spread throughout the 24 units of the apartment complex and reached levels three times the amount deemed safe and prompted an evacuation.
Fire Inspector Mike Wright said Moyer’s death isn’t an isolated incident.
“A lot of people don’t realize it, but carbon monoxide can travel through walls,” said Wright. “It doesn’t need a crack, it doesn’t need a door open. It can actually transfer through drywall and disperse through the building pretty evenly.”
Wright is the only inspector responsible for all apartments in the city. He said enforcing the code is difficult since there are thousands of units and only eight fire inspectors. According to Wright buildings are only inspected if the city gets a complaint or the building is sold to a new owner.
“It’s unfortunate the way we’re enforcing it now,” he said. “But we’re trying to figure out a way to make sure that all existing apartments know it’s required and important to have these alarms.
Chief Fire Inspector, Bill Moody expects all units will be aware of the requirement within a year.
“Ultimately, in a year from now, all units should be aware,” Moody said. “Starting now, we’re sending inserts about the code requiring the carbon monoxide detectors to apartments staggered throughout the year.”
The inserts would be included as a part of the statement building owners receive from the Building and Safety Department.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com