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Matheson Reintroduces Residential CO Poisoning Prevention Act

April 5, 2012
Rob Traister
Security Industry Association
(703) 647-8485

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Security Industry Association (SIA), in conjunction with several other groups, is supporting bipartisan legislation reintroduced by Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) to increase the use of life-saving residential carbon monoxide alarms. 

The Residential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act is similar to legislation that was approved by the House of Representatives in the last session of Congress, but the Senate did not vote on the bill. The Senate version was introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Klobuchar (D-MN).

"Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in this country," said Matheson. "There's a simple way to lower that number- installation of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in homes and residences."

The bill sets up a grant program to encourage states to enact a rule or law requiring all dwelling units and apartment buildings to have carbon monoxide alarms. States with greater than average fatalities from CO poisoning and those serving vulnerable populations, such as children or seniors, would be given priority. The grant program will be administered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In an earlier Congressional hearing on CO poisoning, an official with CPSC testified that only 35 to 50 percent of U.S. households have CO alarms. He said that working with state and local authorities is critical to dispensing information on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, CO kills 500 people annually in the U.S. and sickens more than 20,000. 

"SIA supports the enactment of legislation that provides standards for CO detectors. Federal support for installation of these live-saving devices is always an added incentive," said Marcus Dunn, SIA's Director of Government Relations. 

The Security Industry Association ( is the leading trade group for businesses in the electronic and physical security market. SIA protects and advances its members' interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation on Capitol Hill and throughout the 50 states; producing cutting-edge global market research; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and providing sole sponsorship of the ISC Expos, the world's largest security trade shows and conferences.