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Florida Needs Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes, Businesses | Steven Kurlander

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Florida Needs Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes, Businesses | Steven Kurlander

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Florida Needs Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Homes, Businesses
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 — Steven Kurlander

An elderly Boca Raton couple was about to take a trip to visit their son in San Francisco last week, but never made the flight. Instead, after going out to eat, they later were found dead at home.

Firefighters detected high levels of carbon monoxide in the home of Adele Ridless, 69, and Mort Victor, 79. Authorities suspect one of their cars -- a Mercedes with a keyless ignition --  was left running in the garage, causing their deaths.

Historically, carbon monoxide deaths are associated with homes in northern, colder states, where oil, gas, coal and wood-burning furnaces produce heat. Proper ventilation is critical because this odorless, colorless gas can creep through cracks and quickly cause unconsciousness, then death.

With more and more cars coming equipped with keyless ignitions, deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning are on the rise. In 2010, 35 Floridians unintentionally died from carbon monoxide poisoning, up from 18 in 2001.

Up north, states have strict laws about monitoring carbon monoxide levels in homes and businesses. At this point, Florida law only requires hotels and motels to have carbon monoxide alarms, as well as buildings constructed after July 2008 that contain fossil-fuel burning heaters, appliances or fireplaces.

Since the couple’s deaths, debate has focused on whether cars with keyless ignitions should have shut-off devices or a warning system that alerts people who’ve left their cars running.

A better solution is to require carbon monoxide monitors, which cost about $40, in every Florida home and business.

New York offers a good model for how to make the regulation work. At real estate closings, builders or sellers must sign an affidavit -- made part of the title insurance provisions -- that the home has both a working smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.

I would propose Florida require such affidavits every time a home is refinanced, a car with keyless entry is purchased or property owners pay their taxes.

Florida can’t wait for the federal government to require -- or auto manufacturers to install -- new safety features for keyless-entry cars. Requiring carbon monoxide monitors in people’s homes will prevent needless deaths, like those in Boca Raton last week.

Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly's Kommentary, writes a weekly column for Fort Lauderdale’s Sun-Sentinel and is a South Florida communications strategist.

© Florida Voices

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I have never found such type of car anywhere else. Keyless cars might having some security features like a normal cars. Automotive companies are also thinking about environmental pollution but they don't take any action.

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