Landlords near deadline to install carbon monoxide detectors

Fines up to $500 per day apply if devices not installed by Oct. 13

September 28, 2010|By Raven L. Hill, The Baltimore Sun

Time is running out for Baltimore County landlords to meet the Oct. 13 deadline for installing carbon monoxide detectors in rental units with fuel-burning appliances.

Landlords must submit a verification form after installing the devices. The form is due Nov. 13.

County officials said they have started making reminder calls to owners. The new requirement, approved by the county council last year, applies to all rental properties, regardless of year constructed. Violators will face a maximum $500 daily fine. Landlords will be subject to random property checks, said Tim Kotroco, director of the county department of permits and development management.

The county has also established a phone line for tenants to report violators: (410) 887-3351.

Officials said they hope that most of the county's estimated 91,790 rental units already have the devices.

"We don't have the manpower to go door to door," Kotroco said. "I'm hoping that a fair number already have them installed and it's just a matter of checking them off our list."

In 2005, three people died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a rented townhouse in Essex. That same year, the county Fire Department responded to 895 carbon monoxide incidents. In 2008, that number rose to 1,355, and fire officials expected to exceed 1,400 in 2009.

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