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Aspen beefs up CO monitor rules

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The city of Aspen announced Monday it will now require centrally located carbon monoxide detectors within new homes as part of the building-permit process.

The new requirement ” mandating a detector outside each sleeping area of a home ” is effective immediately, the city said.

Meanwhile, the city and Pitkin County are both working toward even stricter requirements for carbon monoxide detectors following the deaths of four people in a home east of town late last month.

Both the city and county have required carbon monoxide detectors in new construction since 2003; the city’s new administrative order regulates the specific placement of the devices.

In addition, the Aspen City Council is expected to take up an ordinance Monday evening that will require carbon monoxide detectors in all new and existing residential buildings. Monday’s session is the first reading of the ordinance. A final decision will not occur until after a public hearing; the council could take action on the ordinance in January, according to a city press release.

The proposed ordinance is applicable to all buildings that provide a place for people to sleep, including hotels, timeshare units, homes and apartments.

Pitkin County commissioners are scheduled to consider an identical ordinance on Dec. 17. Commissioners will consider the measure as an emergency ordinance, which allows for its quick adoption and implementation.

The proposed new regulations were developed jointly by Pitkin County, the Aspen Fire Protection District and city of Aspen staffers after reviewing other municipal laws specific to carbon monoxide detector regulation, according to the city.

A copy of the city’s proposed ordinance is available for review; contact city community relations officer Sally Spaulding for a copy at sally.spaulding@ci.aspen.co.us or at (970) 920-5082.

The new regulations on carbon monoxide detectors come after a Denver family ” Parker and Caroline Lofgren and their children, Owen and Sophie ” were found dead in the bedroom of a home near Aspen on Friday, Nov. 28. They were victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

After an inspection last week, an investigator with a private engineering firm hired by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said a “combination of errors” in the home’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems may have been to blame for the release and spread of the deadly, odorless gas in the residence. The deaths remain under investigation.

Authorities have not said whether or not there was a carbon monoxide detector in the home, located at 10 Popcorn Lane.


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