State could approve carbon-monoxide detector measure

Posted on: 8:38 pm, June 18, 2013, by , updated on: 08:41pm, June 18, 2013

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A provision requiring hotels and motels in North Carolina to install carbon monoxide detectors in their rooms could be included in the state budget bill in the General Assembly, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.

The possible move comes after three deaths at a Best Western in Boone and an incident in Winston-Salem in which two women were hospitalized after exposure to carbon monoxide at a Holiday Inn.

House and Senate leaders negotiating the state budget could put the provision in that bill, said Sen. Earline Parmon and Rep. Evelyn Terry, both Democrats.

Carbon monoxide poisoning killed Daryl Jenkins, 73, and Shirley Jenkins, 72, a couple from Washington state who were staying in a room at the Best Western Blue Ridge Plaza in Boone on April 16.

Nearly two months later, the gas killed Jeffrey Lee Williams, 11, of Rock Hill, S.C., who was staying with his mother in the same hotel room, His mother, Jennifer Williams, recovered from her exposure to carbon monoxide.

Nine days before the Washington couple died in Boone, two women from the Charlotte area were exposed to a high level of carbon monoxide at the Holiday Inn in the 5700 block of University Parkway, authorities said. They survived the ordeal after being treated in hospitals in Winston-Salem and Durham.

North Carolina doesn’t require carbon monoxide detectors in hotels and motels, but it does require them in new homes.

Seventeen states require the devices in hotels and motels, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Those states include West Virginia and Maryland.

South Carolina will soon require that hotels equip many of their rooms with carbon-monoxide detectors. Starting July 1, changes to South Carolina’s building code will require carbon monoxide detectors in many new and existing hotels that have fuel-fired appliances or attached garages.

In September, the North Carolina fire service will likely recommend building code changes similar to those adopted in South Carolina, according to a state insurance department spokeswoman.

Read more: The Winston-Salem Journal

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