Feb 24, 2022 - News

Des Moines considers carbon monoxide detector mandate

A photo of a carbon monoxide detector.
Photo: John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Carbon monoxide detectors would be required in all rented homes and apartments under a proposed Des Moines ordinance presented to the City Council this week.

Why it matters: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas sometimes released by malfunctioning furnaces that can lead to brain damage and death.

  • At least 430 people die and about 50,000 others are hospitalized each year because of accidental CO poisoning, according to the CDC.

State of play: Any rental that receives federal assistance must have CO detectors by Dec. 27 under a federal rule issued last month.

  • The Des Moines requirement would apply to all rentals as a way to avoid confusion and better protect public safety, SuAnn Donovan, assistant director of the city Neighborhood Services division, told the council.

Of note: CO detectors can be purchased for under $20.

What's next: The council is expected to vote on the requirement in coming weeks.

  • Enforcement would be phased in over the next 2.5 years as renewal inspections are completed.
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