WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation backed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to promote the use of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and detectors meeting national standards.

The Residential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act, HR 1796, sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), requires the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate the American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories (ANSI/UL) Standard 2034, Standard for Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms, and Standard 2075, Standard for Gas and Vapor Detectors and Sensors, as mandatory consumer product safety rules.

According to NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, the bill contains many changes recommended by NEMA to ensure conformance to the most recent versions of the national consensus standards for CO alarms and detectors and to preserve consumer choice.

“NEMA applauds the House’s attention to this life-and-death issue and commends Representative Matheson for his leadership in the fight to reduce carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Gaddis. “NEMA stands ready to work with the Senate to further advance this legislation and make additional technical changes to maximize its effectiveness for consumers.”

Once the CPSC acts, CO alarms that do not meet ANSI/UL Standard 2034 and CO detectors that do not meet ANSI/UL Standard 2075 will not be available for sale in the U.S. The legislation also establishes a federal grant program to provide funds to states that enact CO detection requirements to be used for the installation of alarms in the homes of vulnerable populations, public education, and training of fire code enforcement officials.

Publication date:08/16/2010