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Gas detectors required in rentals units to avoid tragedy

Landlords in Mecklenburg County are required to maintain carbon monoxide detectors in every residential rental unit and in child care facilities.

And anyone with fossil fuel-burning appliances is advised to install the devices, said Patrick Granson, director of permitting and planning for Mecklenburg County. “They’re necessary to have and you need to check them every six months,” he said.

This reminder follows the Saturday death of an 11-year-old boy when the poisonous, but odorless and colorless, gas seeped into a Boone hotel room where he was sleeping with his mother.

Property manager T. R. Lawing recalled a similar tragedy in Charlotte’s 4th Ward about 10 years ago, which prompted the ordinance requiring the devices. Four people in a condominium complex were killed after a resident left a car idling in a garage, according to the Associated Press.

“We very much support” the requirement, said Lawing, whose company, T. R. Lawing Realty Inc., manages about 2,700 units. “No question about it.”

Carbon monoxide detectors cost about $30. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the detectors for every floor of every home, and the National Fire Protection Agency recommends them for every home.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is the nation’s leading cause of poisoning death.

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