Nebraska City Requires Hard-Wired CO Detectors in New Homes


In response to the recent deaths of two local residents from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, the city of Wahoo, Neb., has become one of the first cities in the state to enact a requirement that new homes and homes undergoing additions must be equipped with hard-wired CO detectors on each floor. Unlike CO-detector requirements in other cities, Wahoo’s ordinance specifically requires the detectors to be hard-wired models installed by a low-voltage contractor, as opposed to a battery-operated or plug-in model sold at hardware stores.

The Omaha World-Herald reports the council in the city of 4,000 passed the ordinance in early April after the deaths of two on Jan. 19. In that incident, Ron Larsen, 55, and his son Tim, 18, died of CO poisoning in their Wahoo home after a faulty furnace leaked the odorless and colorless, yet deadly, gas inside the home.

“It usually takes a major tragedy for these things to come about, but not too many cities do this,” Wahoo City Building Inspector Jerry Peterson told the World-Herald. “I just felt it was needed.”

Under the new ordinance, builders must install the carbon monoxide detectors on every level of a newly constructed or renovated home. At least one detector must be in the immediate vicinity of—but outside—the bedrooms. Wiring must be permanent, and the device must not have a disconnection switch.

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