A discussion over requiring detectors for deadly carbon monoxide

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Do you think carbon monoxide detectors should be required in new Indiana apartments or home?

That question is coming up in conversation in Indiana.

Most of this started in recent months after officials in Michigan City asked Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to approve an ordinance that would require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all new construction.

Carbon monoxide can be deadly. You can’t smell it, and it’s colorless.

Tim Griffin, a firefighter and spokesperson for Carmel Fire Department, said, “It’s a silent killer.”

Firefighters at the Carmel Fire Department respond to calls dealing with the deadly gas.

Griffin said, “We even carry carbon monoxide detectors on all of our EMS (emergency medical services) bags. So, on every run when we go in, we’re monitoring a home, even if it’s not a call for carbon monoxide.”

They champion the devices inside apartments and homes.

Griffin said, “We want to make sure you have them outside the bedroom and at bed height. That’s where you’re going to be most vulnerable. When you go to sleep, we want to make sure you can hear it.”

The Indiana Apartment Association President, Lynne Petersen said there’s no state law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in homes or apartments.

In a statement, she said, “We support the statewide code right now that does not require carbon monoxide detectors in commercial dwellings, i.e., apartments, because we don’t want a patchwork of communities having their own rules.”

Petersen said, “If the commission decides to rewrite the code to require carbon monoxide detectors in apartments, we would definitely be willing to talk about it and look at the proposal.”

At Carmel, Griffin said, “For us, we encourage everyone to have them in your home or your apartment.”

He said if Carmel residents can’t afford to buy a carbon monoxide detector, “we’re going to make sure we get one to them.”

Carbon monoxide detectors are available online from $8.99 on up past $60.

If you’d like help to get a free carbon monoxide detector for your apartment or home, Griffin said it’s best to call your local fire department and see if they can help out.

To learn more about carbon monoxide detectors, go to in.gov/isdh/24337.htm.

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