ICYMI: Scott Works to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Deaths in Public Housing

NBC News – HUD moves to require carbon monoxide detectors in public housing after deaths
By Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler
Full story here.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is drafting the first federal rule requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing…

At least 13 people have died from the hazardous gas in federally subsidized housing since 2003, NBC News found…

“A simple, inexpensive, widely available device can be the difference between life and death,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement Thursday, announcing the agency’s plans to move forward with the new requirement in both publicly and privately owned HUD housing.

About half of the states require carbon monoxide detectors in some housing, but those rules don’t always apply to older rental properties, and the regulations are sporadically enforced…

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said that he pressed Carson repeatedly to take action on the issue and require detectors. “The senator had a call with Carson directly, as well as sending letters and our staffs meeting multiple times,” Sean Smith, a spokesperson for Scott, said. In January, two residents died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Columbia, South Carolina, public housing complex that had no detectors…

Each year, at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and about 50,000 go to the emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In its guidance, HUD noted that death rates from carbon monoxide are highest for black people and the elderly, both of whom make up a disproportionate number of public housing residents.