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Boone council wants CO detectors in hotels

by Anna Oakes

The Boone Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to petition the North Carolina Building Code Council to amend state codes to require that carbon monoxide detectors be required in hotels.

Councilman Allan Scherlen added the matter as an agenda item for the council's regular monthly meeting on Tuesday. Town attorney Sam Furgiuele provided an overview of the town's limited options for making changes at a local level.

The discussion came in the wake of tragedies at Boone's Best Western hotel, where an elderly couple and an 11-year-old child died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the same hotel room in incidents in April and June.

"The town does not have clear authority" to impose requirements for carbon monoxide detectors in hotel rooms, Furgiuele said.

Furgiuele said the town could wait to see what actions the state will take on its own, that it could request adoption of a requirement by the Building Code Council as part of the statewide fire code, or that the town could craft a local ordinance that would require approval by the Building Code Council.

Any ordinance would require careful thought about the town's capacity to enforcement such requirements, Furgiuele advised.