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North Hempstead makes carbon monoxide detector proposal

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on March

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on March 5, 2012. Credit: Nicole Bartoline

North Hempstead town is proposing requiring carbon monoxide detectors in commercial buildings.

The effort stems from the death of Legal Sea Foods manager Steven Nelson that authorities said resulted from a gas leak, and the sickening of 27 others at the Huntington Station restaurant last month.

The North Hempstead building department conducted a survey of commercial sites and learned six of the 37 locations surveyed had detectors present.

“Our thought process here was to investigate, then legislate,” Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement. “The random survey provided the evidence we needed to move forward with this common-sense legislation that is designed to enhance public safety.”

Other Long Island municipalities have taken similar actions, including Huntington and Brookhaven towns and Farmingdale Village.

The North Hempstead law would amend town code to require detectors at places of public assembly — buildings that accommodate a group of people for “amusement, athletic, civic, dining, educational, entertainment, patriotic, political, recreational, religious, social or similar purposes.”

Carbon monoxide detectors are already required for all residential rental properties, multiple-unit dwellings, and commercial buildings with apartments above them, said town spokesman Ryan Mulholland.

A public hearing on the proposed requirement for commercial properties will be held at the April 1 town board meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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