Philadelphia, PA – With Carbon monoxide incidents up in the city 41 percent over last year and with heating season underway, the Philadelphia Fire Department is reminding property owners and residents that state and local laws now mandate carbon monoxide alarms in all city dwellings.
Although there hasn’t been a carbon monoxide fatality in the city in two years, so far in 2015 the department has responded to 340 carbon monoxide incidents, up from 241 during all of 2014, said Executive Fire Chief Clifford Gilliam.
The reason for the rise remains unclear, Gilliam said, but he speculated it could be due to rising public awareness of the colorless, odorless, deadly gas.
“It could be that more people have the carbon monoxide alarm, which is why we’re responding to more incidents, but we don’t have a solid handle on it yet” Gilliam said.
Sources of carbon monoxide include heaters, fireplaces and portable generators.
In January 2009, the city enacted its Carbon Monoxide Alarm Law, which requires that all one- and two-family homes have carbon monoxide detectors installed. In December 2013, the state enacted its Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act, which requires that all apartment buildings also have alarms installed.
The state allowed property owners 18 months to comply with the new law, so this winter marks the first heating season that all homes in Philadelphia will be required to have a carbon monoxide detector, Gilliam said.
Alarms must be installed within 15 feet of every sleeping area to be in compliance with the laws.