Beaufort continues to consider carbon monoxide detectors

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 13, 2012 



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Beaufort City Council on Tuesday continued to consider a plan to require carbon monoxide detectors in new homes with garages and gas appliances.

In February, council members asked city employees to survey local home builders, Realtors, developers and others about the proposal. Of the twelve who responded, six were supportive, two were supportive of the proposal only for new housing and four responses were ambiguous, Planning Director Libby Anderson said.

Anderson and city building official Roni Abdella proposed the requirement last month in anticipation of a state mandate later this year. Council could also require the detectors in homes that are substantially renovated.

About half of new homes going up in the city have attached garages, Anderson said previously.

Council members are concerned about the cost of installing the detectors, especially in existing homes where original plaster ceilings would have to be removed for wiring. Anderson said the city would be flexible and allow battery-operated devices when necessary.

"The important thing is just to get the equipment in there," she said.

Detectors are typically placed about halfway up walls between bedroom entrances. Home improvement stores list carbon monoxide detectors for as low as $20 for battery-operated models to more than $100 for ones wired into homes.

However, Allen Patterson, president of the Homebuilders Association of the Lowcountry, said recently installation is about $250 once labor is added.

Council has set no date to vote on the proposal.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.

Related content:

Beaufort considers requiring carbon monoxide detectors, Feb. 22, 2012

Couple dies of carbon monoxide poisoning in Sun City home, May 6, 2010

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