Legislature(2003 - 2004)
03/19/2004 01:15 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 351 - CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTION DEVICES Number 2184 CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 351, "An Act relating to the devices, including carbon monoxide detection devices, required in dwellings; and providing for an effective date." Number 2150 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 351, Version 23-LS1325\V, Bannister, 3/18/04, as the working document. There being no objection, Version V was before the committee. Number 2136 REPRESENTATIVE CARL GATTO, Alaska State Legislature, one of the prime sponsors of HB 351, explained that the main reason for this legislation is that there is the possibility of negligence, which could kill people. Furthermore, low levels of carbon monoxide are fairly damaging to newborns, toddlers, and the very young. Moreover, it's possible to have a hazardous situation in the home by accident. In this latter possibility, Representative Gatto pointed out that someone could fall asleep with the auto start to the car in his or her pocket and accidentally activate the auto start. Starting an automobile in a garage produces enough carbon monoxide to get someone very sick, if not dead. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, speaking as one of the prime sponsors of HB 351, informed the committee that HB 351 received a referral to the House Judiciary Standing Committee because the legislation specifies that not having a carbon monoxide detector would be a class B misdemeanor with a 30-day jail sentence. Some have felt that the aforementioned penalty is too high. Therefore, Sections 5 and 6 were added to Version V. Section 5 is a conforming amendment while Section 6 provides that not having a carbon monoxide detector is a violation as defined in AS 11.81.900, which carries a maximum fine of $500. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that the legislation provides that in all qualified dwelling units, the [carbon monoxide] detection devices must be installed and have an alarm, which can be a visual or auditory alarm. The devices must be in working order, he noted. Representative Gruenberg highlighted that on page 2, line 4, the language "of any deficiencies" and "the landlord" was added by Representative Gatto. The aforementioned change necessitated broadening the title to include carbon monoxide detection devices as well as smoke detection devices. Basically, this legislation adds carbon monoxide detection devices to the existing law pertaining to smoke detection devices. Representative Gruenberg informed the committee that just this week the Municipality of Anchorage passed a very broad carbon monoxide detection ordinance. Number 1957 KELLY NICOLELLO, Assistant State Fire Marshall, Central Office, Division of Fire Prevention, Department of Public Safety (DPS), announced that the [division] is in favor of [Version V] because it makes good sense. He noted that very large spaces, such as hotels and large residential locations, aren't impacted. This legislation is geared toward homes. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that in the past, John Bitney, a lobbyist for Alaska State Home Builders Association, has testified that this is a top priority of that organization. He offered his understanding that it's also a top priority of the firefighters association as well. Representative Gruenberg then drew attention to the [definition] of "qualifying dwelling unit". CHAIR McGUIRE noted that James Baisden, Fire Marshal, Kenai Fire Department, had been on-line but decided to forward his testimony in written form. Upon determining no one else wished to testify, Chair McGuire closed public testimony on HB 351. Number 1864 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to report the proposed CS for HB 351, Version 23-LS1325\V, Bannister, 3/18/04, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 351(JUD) was reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.