– Legislature sponsored by Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) that would require long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living residences to install carbon monoxide detectors was advanced today by the House Aging and Older Services Committee for consideration on the House floor.
Mustio sponsored House Bill 264
at the request of Moon Township resident Mary Ann Rose, who lost both of her parents within a three-week period of time due to the effects carbon monoxide poisoning they suffered in a residential care facility. Earlier this month, both Rose and Mustio testified before the House Aging and Older Services Committee regarding House Bill 264 and the video of their remarks can be viewed at RepMustio.com
“The facility that Ms. Rose chose to care for her mother and father had a furnace malfunction that produced carbon monoxide fumes,” said Mustio. “Both parents were found unresponsive and taken to the hospital where blood tests revealed high levels of carbon monoxide. One would think that residential facilities such as nursing and personal care homes would be required to have carbon monoxide detectors, but unfortunately, this is not the case.”
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas found in the combustion fumes of organic fossil fuels that can cause sudden illness or death. When inhaled, carbon monoxide combines with the blood and prevents the absorption of oxygen.
Endorsed by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Center for Assisted Living Management, House Bill 264 would require long-term care nursing facilities, personal care homes and other assisted living residences that use fossil fuel heating to install these detectors for the protection of their residents. Additionally, the carbon monoxide alarms would become part of the annual inspection process for licensure renewal by those respective care facilities.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in America. The carbon monoxide poisoning rate is highest among people over the age of 65.
“Just like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, a carbon monoxide alarm is a life-saving piece of equipment that should be installed in almost every building, especially in any licensed facility that houses and cares for senior citizens.” Mustio said. “It is imperative that we protect our most vulnerable citizens from this silent killer by enacting the Care Facility Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act.”
Representative Mark Mustio
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin