Reading the headlines, you'd think the only think Congress is working on these days is healthcare reform. Tain't true. Just yesterday, NEMA went up to the Hill to announce its support of the Residential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (HR 1796) sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Nev.). In fact, NEMA member First Alert, represented by Mark DeVine, had the opportunity to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The company simultaneously issued a letter of support for the legislation.
Carbon monoxide (CO) continues to be the number one cause of poisoning in the United States. In too many of these cases, the incidences could have been prevented by proper detection and notification devices. HR 1796 and its Senate companion (S 1216), sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), require the CPSC to promulgate ANSI / UL Standard 2034, Standard for Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms, as a mandatory consumer product rule. Once the CPSC acts, CO alarms that do not meet ANSI/UL Standard 2034 will not be available for sale in this country. The legislation also establishes a federal grant program to provide funds to states that enact CO detection requirements for public education and training of fire code enforcement officials.