The Huntington Town Board at its Tuesday meeting approved two resolutions aimed at requiring installation of carbon monoxide detectors in restaurants and other commercial buildings.
The first resolution supports recently-introduced State legislation that would change the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, which the Town enforces, to create standards for the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in restaurants and other commercial buildings. The second resolution sets an April 7 public hearing on a proposed change in Town Code that would require all places of assembly in the Town to have operating carbon monoxide detectors.
The measures, both of which were introduced by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, come in the wake of a February 25 incident at the Legal Sea Foods branch at the Shops at Walt Whitman in which the restaurant manager died and more than two dozen people, mostly restaurant workers and first responders, were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a leaky flue pipe in a basement water heater. As was noted after the incident, the restaurant did not have a carbon monoxide detector, and none was required by the state code.
“It is unfortunate that it took a tragedy such as this one to highlight a gap in state fire code,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “But just as a similar tragedy several years ago resulted in the state requiring carbon monoxide detectors in residences and commercial buildings where people sleep, this tragedy has made it clear that similar measures are required for all places of assembly to protect employees, first responders and the public.”
Cuthbertson said: “We hope the state will act quickly to approve the legislation that has been submitted. But we cannot wait for or depend on that to happen, which is why I am also proposing an amendment to Town Code, so the detectors can be installed as quickly as possible.”
The resolution supporting the state legislation was co-sponsored by Councilwoman Susan A. Berland and Councilman Eugene Cook. Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards also supported the resolutions, both of which passed unanimously.