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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

September 4, 2002

EMERGENCY CALLS FOR CARBON MONOXIDE
ON TRACK TO TRIPLE IN LAW'S FIRST TWO YEARS
September 6, 2002 Anniversary of Board of County Commissioners' Decision 

Charlotte, NC – Two years ago this week, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners approved an ordinance that has possibly saved dozens, if not hundreds, of lives. The ordinance requires carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in any home with a fossil fuel burning furnace or appliance, or an attached garage. The ordinance also requires the alarms in all day care facilities. The Board approved the law after the carbon monoxide deaths of four people in a condominium complex in 1999. 

Since the ordinance went into effect January 1, 2001, hundreds of citizens have called 911 to report an activated CO alarm. In fact, the number has nearly tripled since the ordinance went into effect. 

                                            2000                2001                2002 (Jan – June)

City of Charlotte                      275                  617                 432
 
Mecklenburg County                  99                 162                 100
 
Total                                       374                 779                 532
 

 Carbon monoxide alarms are available at most home improvement, hardware or discount stores.   Prices range from $20 - $40.   The Mecklenburg County Health Department offers these tips for installation of your carbon monoxide alarm: 

  • Alarms should be located near each sleeping area.
  • Do not locate an alarm in a garage, kitchen or furnace room.
  • Alarms should be at least 15 feet from the furnace, water heater or cooking appliance.
  • Do not mount them behind curtains, in dusty, dirty or greasy areas, or in extremely humid areas.
  • Read and follow installation instructions furnished with the alarm. 

Any Mecklenburg County resident who cannot afford to purchase a carbon monoxide alarm is encouraged to call 704-336-7600 to apply for a free alarm through the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's Office. For more information on the carbon monoxide ordinance, check the Web site www.carbonmonoxide1.com.



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