Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Against CO Poisoning

Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) recently introduced the “Carbon Monoxide Alarms Leading Every Resident to Safety Act” to help protect residents of federally assisted housing from carbon monoxide poisoning. The bill was introduced in response to the deaths of 13 public housing residents from the toxic gas since 2003, and HUD Secretary Carson has made this a priority issue and supports legislative efforts to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in public housing.

The legislation makes sure families living in federally assisted housing are safe from CO poisoning by requiring:

  • CO alarms in units that have potential CO sources like gas-fired appliances, fireplaces, forced air furnaces, and attached garages;
  • CO alarms in rural housing, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
  • HUD to provide guidance to public housing agencies on how to educate tenants on health hazards in the home, including CO poisoning and lead poisoning; and
  • HUD, in consultation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to conduct a public study on requiring CO alarms in housing not covered by the International Fire Code.