SEATTLE — Effective Jan. 1, all Washington residences, including apartments, condos, hotels, dormitories and residential institutions, must have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.
The new mandate is an extension of a law that took effect in 2011 that required CO detectors in all new construction. The state legislature ordered changes in the building code after a windstorm in the Puget Sound area in December 2006 led to eight deaths and hundreds being treated for CO poisoning. The deaths were blamed on poorly ventilated generators in used due to widespread power outages, SeattlePi.com reports.
California officials also plan to roll out the second installment of its CO alarm rule at the beginning of 2013, the San Francisco Gate reports. Last year, legislation required all California homeowners to install CO detectors in their residences. In the second phase, all property owners for apartments and other multifamily buildings must install CO alarms on every floor, including basements, and should be placed in hallways outside of bedrooms.
For installers, the new requirements present an opportunity to grow business, according to Timothy Andrew, marketing director for Pasco, Wash.-based Moon Security.
“This is another life-safety service alarm dealers can offer in order to increase the value of our offerings,” he tells SSI. “The CO requirement provides us with another reason to reach out to our clients.”
Last week, 42 students and seven adult at Atlanta-based Finch Elementary were hospitalized due to CO poisoning. Currently, only Connecticut and Maryland require CO detectors in public and private schools. That said, how can providers convince home and building owners to install CO detectors and have them professionally monitored rather than just alert onsite?
“Let them know that life-safety monitoring saves lives,” Andrew says. “Local sounding does not work in all cases. Our own statistics, as well as industry stats, can cite many instances each year where lives are saved because of our efforts.”
Andrew further explains alarm companies should offer CO detection and monitoring as a minimum standard when presenting options to customers. Additionally, it is crucial for dealers to educate sales staff and require the inclusion of CO and smoke detectors as part of the baseline proposal.
“The [new requirements] will provide a temporary increase in overall sales as homeowners become educated and compliant,” Andrew says. “Spending time with clients to educate them on statistics and why our package exceeds the value found in the free or $99 offers that are so prevalent in the industry today, is part of Moon Security’s sales process.”
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.