By Mark S. Kenna
June 19, 2013. The issue of carbon monoxide detectors in hotel rooms dominated the majority of the Boone Town Council meeting Tuesday night.
In light of the tragic deaths at Best Western, the council unanimously passed a motion to petition the N.C. Building Code Council to require carbon monoxide detectors at the state level.
Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele surmised three different routes the town of Boone could take to amend the building code. The other two options, which the Town Council decided not to pursue, would be to wait and see what happens at the state level, or craft and adopt an ordinance requiring carbon monoxide detectors in local hotels—contingent upon N.C. Building Code Council approving flexibility at the local level.
However, Furgiuele acknowledged this as a “complex issue,” citing that the courts have been known to strike down municipal ordinances that “step on areas occupied by state law, like fire code.”
Boone Town Council Member Allan Scherlen mentioned recent legislation moving through South Carolina General Assembly that would mandate hotels with fire fuel appliances to have carbon monoxide detectors. North Carolina lawmakers want to know if there is a need for carbon monoxide detectors and are choosing to push a study on the issue, instead of drafting legislation, Scherlen added.
“This really was a tragedy not only for the families involved, but the community, and what concerns me is that this unfortunately happened in Boone, which means it could happen anywhere,” Boone Town Council Member Lynne Mason said. “Anything we do really should be state wide, it’s a health and safety issue. These deaths were totally preventable.
To read more about the tragic carbon monoxide deaths at Best Western click here.