CO detectors in rentals on agenda

By Melanie Yingst - [email protected]

TROY — On Monday, council members on the Safety and Health Committee will discuss amending an ordinance to require city of Troy landlords to provide carbon monoxide detectors in residential rental properties.

The committee will meet Monday at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall.

According to city of Troy Fire Departmen Chief Matt Simmons, there are a few exemptions if legislation is passed. Those exemptions include properties that have heating devices that do not emit carbon monoxide or products of incomplete combustion and dwellings where the sleeping unit is located at least two stories above any story that has fuel-burning appliances.

The legislation is in response to the upcoming one year anniversary of the deaths of three children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at their rental home on Elm Street on the weekend of Feb. 27, 2015.

“The fire department has been educating the community since the tragic incident of the hazards of carbon monoxide, as well as fire safety,” Simmons said Friday.

Since the incident in February 2015, Chief Simmons said the fire department, along with the Troy Foundation, started the Troy Carbon Monoxide Detector Fund, which is funded by donations from the community. The Troy Fire Department has held more than 130 public education events with approximately 7,935 attendees in 2015, he said.

The department has installed more than 270 CO/smoke detectors in the months following the tragedy last February.

“Our firefighters have installed these detectors and have educated the residents on the effects of carbon monoxide exposure and the precautions that they can take,” Simmons said.

The basics of the amended ordinance according to the committee report:

• All real property owners who rent a building or structure to residential tenants that contains a fuel-burning appliance, or a building which has an attached garage, must equip the building with one or more single-station carbon monoxide alarms. There are exceptions related to certain types of sleeping units or dwelling units.

• That property owner is required to supply and install the alarm, ensure that any batteries associated with the alarm are in operating condition when the occupant takes possession of the property, and provide the occupant with written information regarding alarm testing and maintenance. The occupant is to install any later needed batteries, provide testing and general maintenance, and notify the owner in writing of any deficiencies the occupant cannot correct.

Simmons said the city anticipated changes by the state to add the CO detectors to the list of required safety features, but when state legislation fell through, the city moved forward to draft legislation on its own.

“We plan on notifying every landlord in the city database by letter. The letter will include the legislation, as well as education material on the hazards and mitigation of carbon monoxide,” Simmons said.

If a landlord is found to be non-compliant, a fine or minor misdemeanor charge could be imposed.

“It is not the objective to fine or penalize any landlord, rather educate them on the hazards and mitigation options to abate the hazards of carbon monoxide,” Simmons said.

The committee also will consider the amendment for emergency legislation. If approved by council, the ordinance would go into effect immediately.

In other news:

Following the safety and health committee, the streets and sidewalks committee will review the final assessment for Phase VIII. The committee will review authorization regarding the design of Phase 2 of the North Market Street Improvement Project. The recommendation includes entering into a professional service agreement with Choice One Engineering of Sidney at a cost not to exceed $120,000.

The utilities committee will meet following the streets and sidewalks committee.

The committee will discuss a recommendation authorizing the director of public service and safety to advertise for bids and enter into a contract for the city’s new 0.75 MG water tower in the Extra High Service Area, to be located on West Stanfield Road, at a cost not to exceed $2,750,000.

By Melanie Yingst

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews

Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews

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