Support offered for carbon monoxide detector requirements in Huntington

Huntington Town Hall in an undated photo.

Huntington Town Hall in an undated photo. Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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Huntington residents and public safety advocates have come out in support of a proposed law requiring places of assembly in the town to install carbon monoxide detectors, with some asking for the measure to go further.

The proposed legislation, discussed at a public hearing on Tuesday, would cover places such as restaurants and theaters but not places such as office buildings. Huntington Town code requires detectors in residences and places such as hotels and nursing homes.

"That this law is being limited to certain buildings, it doesn't seem to fit with the logic of what we know about carbon monoxide," said Neal Lewis, executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, who was one of four speakers at the hearing.

"It [carbon monoxide] doesn't make a distinction between places of public assembly or an office building or a home. Carbon monoxide is a threat to any building where there is a combustion source."

He also suggested the mandated carbon monoxide detector be a digital readout model.

The Huntington Town Board could vote as soon as next month on the legislation.

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Huntington and other Long Island governments -- including Nassau and Suffolk counties -- have been weighing updates to their laws governing detectors since store manager Steven Nelson succumbed to the poisonous gas on Feb. 22 at Legal Sea Foods in Huntington Station. The restaurant did not have a carbon monoxide detector; and Huntington Town Chief Fire Marshal Terence McNally said a faulty flue pipe in the heating system triggered the deadly leak. to here

Town board member Mark Cuthbertson, sponsor of the Huntington legislation, said all suggestions will be considered. "We have to make sure on an administrative level and enforcement level it can work," he said. "There are a lot of suggestions we just have to see if they can really work."

The Hempstead Town Board unanimously approved a law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in some commercial and public facilities last month.


The Town of Brookhaven also passed a resolution last month, requiring all commercial buildings to have carbon monoxide detectors. The North Hempstead town board had a public hearing earlier this month and is considering strengthening its proposal. The village of Farmingdale is also considering a law.

"I'm happy that there is a dialogue going on in the Town of Huntington and that there are suggestions for improvements," Cuthbertson said. "If those improvements make sense, then we will pursue them."

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