THORNTON, Colo. — The Carbon Monoxide Safety Association (COSA) announced that it has presented the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department of El Paso County, Colo., an award in recognition of its paramount carbon monoxide (CO) safety practices. These include pioneering activities for building officials that when enacted, began a chain of educational and awareness raising events helping in the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in the community, like nowhere else in the United States.

These practices include full-time, low-level CO protection for all of the department’s inspectors. Measurement with alarm protection upon entry during every inspection has resulted in a CO hazard education program with onsite contractors, building owners, tenants, responsible parties, and the inspectors themselves. This has resulted in thousands of people immediately impacted weekly by the measurement practice of testing for carbon monoxide upon building entry, starting at levels well below harmful.

Additionally recognized is the department’s support of educational development programs for the benefit of the mechanical contractors and technicians who provide services to the citizens within their jurisdiction. This cooperation includes assistance with enhanced licensing educational opportunities through the Pikes Peak Mechanical Contractors Association (PPMCA) and the certified HVACR programs at IntelliTec College and Pikes Peak Community College.

Noteworthy also is the department’s CO monitor calibration station that is made available for use by participating mechanical contracting companies and technicians who use the same personal monitor type as department inspectors. This service helps ensure the accuracy of the now commonly used professional CO safety monitor.

This aggressive approach to protect inspectors entering unknown building scenarios from yet to be determined levels of carbon monoxide has also led to source discovery, better communication with fire and emergency responders, and eventual resolutions enacted by mechanical contractors and other tradespeople before the gas causes more severe health problems.

The award also recognized the leadership of regional building official Henry W. Yankowski.

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Publication date: 10/14/2013

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