Legislation encourages states to adopt tougher standards to ensure safety and reliability of carbon monoxide detectors

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) announced that their bipartisan legislation to help prevent carbon monoxide-related deaths, the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act, has been signed into law. Named after two young brothers from Kimball, Minnesota, who tragically passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning, this legislation will help states adopt tougher standards to ensure carbon monoxide detectors are safe and reliable.

“With commonsense safeguards in place, we can help protect families from the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Klobuchar. “Now that this bipartisan legislation has been signed into law, we will take a critical step in facilitating stronger safety standards for carbon monoxide detectors and preventing accidental deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

“Carbon monoxide is a hidden danger that has led to tragedy for too many individuals and families in North Dakota and across the nation,” said Hoeven. “Our legislation, which is now law, will help increase awareness and encourage the use of carbon monoxide detectors to help save lives.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 430 people in the U.S. die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and approximately 50,000 people are forced to seek medical attention for accidental CO poisoning. Especially dangerous is the risk of poisoning associated with running an automobile engine in an attached garage or burning charcoal in the house.

Currently, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) has voluntary standards, set by Underwriters Laboratories. The Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act will authorize the CPSC to provide resources to states to encourage the use of CO detection devices and establish a federal grant program to help states carry out a CO poisoning prevention education and awareness program.