Original Press Release
GAMA Announces Revised Policy on Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Press release date: June 14, 2007
Supports Mandates on CO Alarm Installation
ARLINGTON, VA., June 14, 2007 - GAMA has announced a revised policy respecting the installation of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. GAMA is the national trade association representing manufacturers of appliances, components and related products used for space heating, water heating and other building services.
As approved by the association's Board of Directors, GAMA now supports mandates for the installation of CO alarms in residences containing only fuel-fired appliances, while at the same time urging that the mandate be broadened to include all residences regardless of their heating source. GAMA's previous policy was to support only mandates requiring the installation of CO alarms in all residences.
Specifically, GAMA recommends CO alarms installed in residences should: o Be listed to ANSI UL 2034, Standard for Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms or CSA 6.19, Residential Carbon Monoxide Detectors. o Be installed outside each sleeping area, according to NFPA 720, Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide Warning Equipment in Dwelling Units. o Have a battery backup to operate during power outages.
Often called the silent killer, CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, and oil) burn incompletely.
Although annual CO poisonings from incorrectly installed or maintained heating appliances are decreasing, the annual number of CO accidents from all sources is not matching this trend. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 64 people died in 2005 from CO poisonings related to portable generators. Many of the deaths occurred after hurricanes, ice storms and blizzards. CPSC also reports that during the last quarter of 2006 (October-December), 32 carbon-monoxide deaths nationwide were related to consumers' use of portable generators.
"Too many consumers are still subjected to hazardous levels of CO concentrations every year, sometimes fatally, when they improperly use gas generators, charcoal grills, and fuel-burning camping heaters and stoves inside their homes or in other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces," explained GAMA President Jack Klimp. "Equipment such as gas generators and barbeque grills generate CO as a byproduct of combustion and can contribute to this serious problem. Running automobiles and generators in attached garages can also lead to dangerous levels of CO being introduced into a home."
Contractors, service providers or a neighbor's portable equipment operation can also produce a CO risk. A gas-powered tool such as a pressure washer placed outside a window, doorway or ventilation opening can fill a home with deadly CO in minutes. Along with supporting the proper installation and maintenance of CO alarms in all residences, GAMA will continue to encourage research and development to further improve durability and reliability of CO alarms. Additionally, as states introduce legislation on CO alarm installation, GAMA will encourage that such mandates apply to all residences while working with state lawmakers in adopting measures requiring residences containing only fuel-fired appliances to install CO alarms.
So far during the 2007 legislative session, 13 states introduced and/or passed legislation requiring installation of CO alarms. Maryland and Florida have passed legislation requiring installation of CO alarms, while Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia have introduced such measures.
"Efforts by states to require protection for consumers with fuel-fired appliances are a good first step toward reducing the risks of CO poisoning, but they fall short of complete protection from all possible CO sources," Mr. Klimp emphasized.
For more information, contact GAMA Technical Services Manager Phil Gauthier, (703) 525-7060 ext. 231, firstname.lastname@example.org; or GAMA Government Affairs Manager George W. Cook III, (703) 525-7060 ext. 236, email@example.com.
Founded in 1935, GAMA (GAMAnet.org) has been an established force in the heating industry for nearly 75 years. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., GAMA is the national trade association representing manufacturers of gas-fired, oil-fired and electric space and water heating equipment, components and related products used for residential, commercial and industrial applications. GAMA member companies account for more than 90 percent of U.S. sales of gas and oil-fired space heating equipment and gas, oil and electric water heaters. Combined U.S. sales of GAMA member companies exceed $9 billion per year. In addition, GAMA member companies employ more than 190,000 workers in the United States. GAMA's membership reaches beyond the United States to include companies in Canada, Japan, China, Europe and Australia.