Effective Tuesday, Prince George’s County requires all homes with gas service (natural or propane), an attached garage, or a fireplace to have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor.
Homeowners without the detectors can be fined $100, according to WJLA-TV.
“The enactment of carbon monoxide (CO) detector requirements is the next step to ensuring a safe environment for our communities,” Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor wrote in a memo.
WJLA-TV reports the reason behind the new law is the death toll in the past four years from carbon monoxide poisoning. Nine people have died, including a family of five in Oxon Hill in April 2012.
“Each of us should take a vested interest to ensure the public we serve understands the importance of this legislation,” Bashoor wrote. He linked the public to a tip sheet about the risk of carbon monoxide.
Only homes without an attached garage and electrical heating are exempt from the law, WJLA-TV reports.
“A lot of times it is out of sight out of mind,” Bashoor told WJLA-TV. “People think it’s not going to happen to me and I ask them to look back to that family in Oxon Hill who went to bed thinking everything was going to be fine in the morning when they woke up, and they never had that chance.”