Media Release – Gov. Ritter Signs Lofgren and Johnson Families Carbon Monoxide Safety Act

Denver, CO – Standing in the truck bays of Denver Fire Station #10 surrounded by family and friends of Lauren Johnson and the Lofgren family – Gov. Ritter signed House Bill 1091 known as the Lofgren and Johnson Families Carbon Monoxide Safety Act. The bill requires carbon monoxide alarms in new and sold residential properties.

 

“This past year we tragically lost six amazing individuals in six weeks to carbon monoxide poisoning.  My heart goes out to the family members standing here with me.  This legislation will help ensure that we will not suffer any more terrible losses by simply having alarms installed in homes,” stated Gov. Ritter. “I want to thank the sponsors of this very important legislation:  Representative John Soper (D-Adams County), Representative Lois Court(D-Denver), and Senator Romer (D-Denver). Our state thanks you for helping keep our residents safe.”

 

Nick Nuanes added, “This law may not take effect until July first but go out today and buy your carbon monoxide alarms, be sure your family and friends have their alarms as well.”

 

Barbara Moilien, Lauren Johnson’s mother continued, “As this bill is entered into law I encourage the citizens of Colorado to not become complacent.  Talk to your families across this country.  Continue in your viligence to purchase CO alarms – one for each floor of your home.  If you are sending your child off to college, make a CO alarm the first item on your list that includes a set of sheets, MP3 player or new computer, it will be your least expensive purchase and in doing so you may be saving the life of your son, daughter or grandchild.  Powerful change comes from the actions of a few.”

 

Caroline Lofgren’s brother Dr. Fred Feuerbach then added, “The Lofgren/Feuerbach/ Rittenour families wish to thank everyone who contributed to the successful passage of the Lofgren/Johnson Carbon Monoxide Safety Act.  We have been faced with a life changing tragedy, that hopefully after today, no other family in Colorado will be forced to cope with. “

“The face and fabric of our family has been forever changed, but we move forward knowing that the Lofgren family will continue to have a positive impact on people’s lives.  The Lofgren/Johnson Carbon Monoxide Safety Act will not only save countless lives, but serves as a lasting and fitting legacy for Caroline, Parker, Owen and Sophie; a family who truly loved and served their community and the great state of Colorado, ” concluded Dr. Feuerbach.

The Governor also announced that Kidde the world’s largest fire safety manufacturer has donated 300 alarms to the Denver Fire Department to distribute throughout Denver to families in need and the alarms were on display. Since 1996 Kidde has also had a carbon monoxide engineering and research facility in Colorado Springs.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes.  It is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, gas ranges and heating systems.

 

Most Carbon Monoxide (CO) incidents happen during the winter months, mainly due to an increased use in fuel burning appliances. US Census data reports that 83% of Colorado single-family homes use gas, wood, kerosene, coal, or fuel as their major heat source, all of which emit carbon monoxide.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, CO is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. It claims 500 lives annually, and sends another 20,000 to the emergency room.

 

Beginning July 1, 2009 all new or sold residential properties will be required to have CO alarms on each floor of the property. Rental properties that change tenants will also be required to add CO alarms.