CO monitor rule too regulatory
December 31, 2008
One of my Christmas presents was a carbon monoxide alarm device from a good friend looking out for me. I will carry it around the house and test different locations, and eventually mount it at a strategic place for good. Attached to the gift was The Aspen Times story “New CO detector rule has March 9 deadline.”
I am an old-timer, never having sold out, still believing in and enjoying Aspen. I’ve lived here for 52 years without being dictated to on this point by a government that’s already too big. Is this a case of creating more work for government? We already are paying huge property taxes for our now, also government-dictated, worthless Victorian houses, which are much too drafty, and cannot be upgraded anyway, to accumulate any dangerous fumes.
Why do we need all these rules enacted to keep us from killing ourselves? I, like a lot of other citizens, would rather have more freedom.
During the 52 years I have lived here, I have never heard of a case like the Lofgren tragedy, which, by the way, saddened me deeply. Had there been an explosion in the same house or had a rock fallen on their car driving to Aspen, would the city fathers and mothers have conjured up an ordinance for that, too?
This ordinance creates a situation of many having to take measures that maybe are not appropriate for their homes. Let everyone have the right to decide for themselves whether they need to have a monitor on each floor in each bedroom.
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Additionally, how about all the city-owned rental housing? Will you have to add a new employee just to monitor the monitors? The city is a huge landlord. To have that many devices mandatory would create a can of worms for the city, as well as for homeowners insurance.
With an ordinance like that in place, insurance companies who are always looking for a loophole to get out of paying claims could easily find inoperative monitors when any claim comes up, and use that as an excuse to negate coverage. This type of situation could be drastic for every homeowner in Aspen. You can put a monitor into a rental apartment, but what is to say your tenant doesn’t disable it, by accident start a fire in your leased property, and then the insurance company denies fire coverage because they find the inoperative monitor. Are landlords to monitor their tenants daily to be sure they haven’t messed with the monitors?
I think the people of Aspen should think this through a little more before the city takes this step, especially when it comes to the hazard in our insurance coverage. Many of us have most likely already bought one or two monitors since the tragedy, but not a half-dozen or more without being ruled to do it by the government.
Time to think this one through again.