“We are going to provide parity for CO detectors very similar to what we do for smoke detectors,” says Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls.
Danielson says he’s been “pleasantly surprised” the idea has now earned bipartisan support after unsuccessful tries in previous years.
“I also understand why some can’t get there,” Danielson says. “This is a regulation, but I think it’s an example when we have a light touch on implementation and what we’re requiring, even those can get there because we’ve been reasonable about how to implement it.”
Existing rental units in Iowa would be required to have carbon monoxide detectors if the bill becomes law, but installing a carbon monoxide detector would be voluntary in existing, single-family homes.
“You know we’ve learned through other safety regulations like seat belts, smoke detectors — you name it — that when Iowans are aware of a tool to keep them safer, they will use it,” Danielson says.
About 300 Iowans wind up in an emergency room each year to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and officials say about 20 Iowans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.