State Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Bayside), his brother, Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), and Assemblyman Jimmy Meng (D-Flushing) are proposing just that, the creation of a Carbon Monoxide Awareness Day, to promote the installation and usage of carbon monoxide detectors statewide."People need to have these in their home," Mark Weprin said on the steps of Flushing Town Hall Friday. "They are your eyes and your ears when you're not home."Prompted to react to a recent death in which a deaf couple succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home in Douglaston because they could not hear the detector, David Weprin plans to introduce a citywide bill to make landlords install visual carbon monoxide detectors in certain residences. That type of carbon monoxide detector would have flashing lights in order to notify hearing-impaired residents of high levels of carbon monoxide."It should only be required when there's knowledge of a hearing impaired person in the house," David Weprin said.Fire Department Lt. Joe Torrillo said carbon monoxide is more deadly than most people realize. "Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of all accidental poisoning," he said. "What's more important is the amount of people who are affected on a daily basis by high levels of carbon monoxide in their home."The law currently requires landlords and homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of any sleeping area, he said. Faulty heating systems and clogged chimneys are largely the culprits in rising carbon monoxide levels in homes. Also he said in attached homes, running cars in garages can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise in adjacent apartments. Torrillo recommended residents do not use the biometric carbon monoxide detector, which only consists of a litmus paper that changes color as levels of carbon monoxide rise.Detectors range in price from $20 to $25 apiece and flashing light detectors cost about $35 to $40 each, he said.Responding to a rash of fatal fires in western Queens, state Sen. John Sabini (D-Corona) plans to hold a forum at the IPRHE Corona Senior Center, 108-74 Roosevelt Ave., on April 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. During the program, the hosts will give out free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The presentations will be held in both English and Spanish.Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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