St. Joseph County approves carbon monoxide ordinance

NOW: St. Joseph County approves carbon monoxide ordinance

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.— Several groups in St. Joseph County feel they’re a step closer to stopping a silent killer.

Tuesday, the county council approved an ordinance that would require carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in rental properties throughout South Bend and Mishawaka.

Fire fighters at Clay Fire have been pushing for this for three years.

A proposal had been in the works since 2015 because the stats involving this issue are troubling.

25 people in the county have died of CO poisoning since 2007.

Last year alone, 48 people had been hospitalized at Beacon Health.

“It just add further credence to the growing needed awareness of what’s been put on the sideline for way too long,” said Dot Kesling, an advocate for CO detector ordinance.

In a seven-to-two vote, the council passed the amendment targeting rental properties including apartments and hotels.

If not compliant, a property may be fined up to $100 per violation.

But folks at Clay Fire just want to save lives.

“We’re all about education, we’re not in it for the enforcement part, we’re in it to educate people so something doesn’t happen,” said Fire Marshal Dave Cherrone.

La Porte passed an ordinance requiring the detectors back in April.

Michigan City and Porter County did as well.

But these changes have to be approved by the Fire Prevention & Building Safety Commission downstate.

They’ll discuss these amendments during its next meeting in December.

Advocates pushing for this change would like to next see politicians in the statehouse pass blanket legislation.

“We’re going to continue to appeal to as many cities and counties and as many doors as we can get through,” said Kesling.

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