After a series of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning rocked the state, Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed the Carbon Monoxide Prevention Bill into law on July 24 on the steps of Hialeah City Hall.
The bill requires carbon monoxide detectors be installed in buildings with new construction permits issued on or after July 1, 2008. The law applies to any new building that burns fossil fuels, whether residential or commercial.
The bill was initially met with staunch opposition from the Greater Miami and Beaches Hotel Association. However, the association’s resistance diminished after legislators removed the provision requiring detectors in every room. Under the current bill, owners only have to install the devices in areas vulnerable to carbon monoxide emissions.
Supporters believe the numerous deaths caused by carbon monoxide helped propel the bill through the legislature. Among them were Janelle Bertot and Anthony Perez, two Florida International University students who perished when the lethal gas leaked into their car through a faulty exhaust system. Last December, 26-year-old Tom Lueders died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort.
Bertot’s father Carlos Bertot currently runs Janelle’s Wishing Well, a foundation to educate teenagers on carbon monoxide poisoning.