BUFFALO, NY - Carbon monoxide poisoning killed 16-year-old Amanda Hansen of West Seneca in January 2009. Her parents successfully urged state lawmakers to pass a law making carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in all homes and apartments in New York state. "Amanda's Law" goes into effect today, Monday, February 22, 2010.
On Saturday, Amanda's father Ken was at the Lowe's on Niagara Falls Boulevard talking about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors. Officials from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control were at seven Lowe's stores across the state talking to people about carbon monoxide safety. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas given off by fuel burning appliances. Stoves, fireplaces, leaking pipes, plugged chimneys, and malfunctioning appliances can cause carbon monoxide to build up. Basic carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased for around $20.
John Przbycien, a New York state fire protection specialist said, "The detectors start to pick up lower levels, probably around 30, 35 parts per million is when they start to go into an alarm mode. That gives you plenty of time to take the appropriate actions, call the appropriate people and get things repaired."
Ken Hansen said his daughter Amanda would be overwhelmed at how much work they've done in her name to educate people about carbon monoxide poisoning. "I've already had calls from all over the country from people that thanked us for saving their lives so it means a lot to us knowing that amanda's already saved so many lives. It happens every day, CO is in everyone's home," Hansen said. Shoppers said it meant a lot to them to see Hansen at the store speaking out about such a personal issue
"Amanda's Law" is primarily a tool to educate people about carbon monoxide poisoning. Lawmakers say enforcement will be difficult. There are no fines or penalties to speak of at this point, but the law could be amended in the future.