Carbon monoxide poisoning claimed numerous lives this winter, including 11-year-old Charlene Mechley and her father of Rice Lake Township, Minnesota
Legislation would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to provide support for public safety education and the installment of safe and reliable carbon monoxide detectors; bill is named after two young brothers from Kimball, MN, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that their legislation to protect families from carbon monoxide poisoning has passed the Senate Commerce Committee, paving the way for a vote in the full Senate. Carbon monoxide poisoning claimed numerous lives this winter, including 11-year-old Charlene Mechley and her father of Rice Lake Township, Minnesota. The legislation would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to provide support for public safety education and the installment of safe and reliable carbon monoxide detectors. The bill—the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act—is named after two young brothers from Kimball, MN, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 1996.
“Known as the ‘silent killer,’ carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can claim lives without warning,” Klobuchar said. “By raising awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide and encouraging the installation of detectors, this commonsense bill will help break the silence and support families in Minnesota and across the country in preventing this tragedy before it strikes.”
“The passage of this bill through the Senate Commerce Committee is great news for families across New York and the country, who need and deserve peace of mind in knowing that their home is safe when they tuck their kids in at night,” Schumer said. “Public education and prevention-through-detection are the best ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and this national legislation will save countless lives. So we will be pushing our colleagues to pass this bill – which will give American families the tools they need to detect carbon monoxide risk before it is too late.”
“I’m pleased that this commonsense legislation has moved forward in a bipartisan fashion,” Senator Casey said. “Far too many Pennsylvanians have been impacted by carbon monoxide. Increasing awareness and the availability of monitors will be a positive step towards preventing accidental deaths.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 400 deaths and approximately 15,000 emergency room visits as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning each year and the highest percentage of carbon monoxide exposures occurs during the winter months of November, December, January, and February. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen whenever a fuel-burning appliance is used improperly or malfunctions; other sources include fireplaces and vehicles left running in attached garages. When gas builds up in a building, it can quickly lead to illness or even death.
On December 3, 2014, Charlene Mechley and her father died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a small generator outside the trailer where they were living. Following Charlene’s death, three of her former classmates started a group to raise awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning and give out carbon monoxide detectors to local families. Representatives from Klobuchar’s office teamed up with the students to help obtain and distribute the carbon monoxide detectors.