Since the preventable and tragic deaths of the Lofgren family on November 28th, 2008, the Rittenour, Lofgren and Feuerbach families and their friends have been dedicated to ensuring that this tragedy does not happen again. They have worked on legislation and local initiatives that will forever stand as a legacy to the Lofgren family.  

CARBON MONOXIDE LEGISLATION

Working with legislators and experts in Colorado, Oregon, Maine and Washington, the Rittenour, Lofgren and Feuerbach families testified at legislative hearings, helped draft legislation, and are working on follow-up education campaigns to help protect people from the dangers of carbon monoxide. Their goal is to prevent as many carbon monoxide deaths as possible through legislation.

Colorado: The Lofgren and Johnson Families
Carbon Monoxide Safety Act

In Colorado The Lofgren and Johnson Families Carbon Monoxide Safety Act was signed into law by Governor Bill Ritter in February, 2009. The act requires that on or after July 1, 2009, all single family and multi-family dwellings for sale or transfer  with a fuel-fired appliance, fireplace or attached garage must have carbon monoxide detectors installed within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes. In addition, any single-family dwelling, multi-family dwelling, or rental property undergoing alterations, repairs, fuel-fired appliance replacement or additions where a building permit is required or where 1 or more rooms used for sleeping purposes must have a carbon monoxide detector installed within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes. Furthermore, single family dwellings and existing dwelling units in multi-family dwellings that are used for rental purposes that have a change of tenancy on or after July 1, 2009 must install a carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.

To read the text of this law go to
http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl2009a/sl_51.htm

To read more about the passing of this law go to Title: Governor Ritter’s Press Release

Governor Signs Carbon Monoxide Measure

In addition, in December, 2008, immediately following the Lofgren family deaths, Pitkin County, the county in which their deaths took place, clarified and expanded upon their current carbon monoxide detector requirements. The ordinance was renamed The Lofgren Family Ordinance.

To read more about the passing of this ordinance, go to PitkinCtyOrdinance.pdf

Oregon: The Lofgren and Zander Memorial Act
Related to Carbon Monoxide

In Oregon The Lofgren and Zander Memorial Act was signed into law by Governor Kulongoski in 2009. This law requires that any property with a carbon monoxide source being sold or rented after July 1. 2010, is required to have a carbon monoxide detector in locations that provide detection for sleeping areas. In addition, carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in new construction or in any property that is undergoing reconstruction, repair, or alteration that requires a building permit.  Furthermore, properties with attached garages that are connected to living spaces in anyway such as by connecting doors or duct work are required to install carbon monoxide detectors in locations that provide detection for sleeping areas..

To read the text of this law go to
http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measpdf/hb3400.dir/hb3450.en.pdf

To read more about the passing of this law go to
New Oregon Carbon Monoxide Alarm Rules to Take Effect in July

New Law Exists to halt Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Maine: LD 550, A Law to Protect Maine Residents from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In Maine LD 550, A Law to Protect Maine Residents From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning was signed into law by Governor Baldacci in May, 2009. The law requires that after October 31, 2009, each apartment in a multi-family building, any addition to an existing single family dwelling that involves a bedroom, or any conversion of a building to a single family dwelling must have carbon monoxide detectors in all areas within or giving access to bedrooms. In addition, all single-family dwellings and multiapartment buildings sold or exchanged, all newly constructed single -family dwellings, and all apartments under a rental agreement or month-to-month tenancy must have carbon monoxide detectors in each area within or giving access to bedrooms.

To read the text of this law go to
http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/billtexts/SP021201.asp

To read more about the passing of this law go to Poison Gas Detector Law has Broader Application

Washington: Senate Bill 5561 Related to Carbon Monoxide

In Washington Senate Bill 5561 was signed into law by Governor Gregoire in April, 2009. The law requires that by January, 2011, all newly constructed buildings classified as residential occupancies will be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and all other buildings classified as residential occupancies will be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors by January 1, 2013.

To read the text of this law go to Bill 5561 as it Passed the Legislature

CARBON MONOXIDE INITIATIVES

In addition to legislation, family and friends are working on local initiatives to educate the public about the dangers of carbon monoxide and to provide carbon monoxide detectors for those in need. The following are two such initiatives.

Weston, Connecticut, Carbon Monoxide Detector Initiative

In January 2009, Caroline Lofgren’s sister, Maria Dempsey, her husband Lou, a volunteer firefighter, and the Weston, Connecticut, Volunteer Fire Department set out to equip every house in their town of Weston, CT, with carbon monoxide detectors. This initiative was developed to be a template that other communities could follow to implement a similar program. Over 1,200 CO detectors were distributed to homes in their town.  Due to the Dempseys’ efforts and the tireless support and efforts of the Weston, Connecticut, Volunteer Fire Department, Weston, CT, is a safer place today. 

To read more about this initiative go to The FC Newsletter column

Wayland, Massachusetts: Carbon Monoxide Detectors for Seniors

In January, 2010, Sue Spencer, a good friend of the Feuerbach family, applied for a $5000 grant from TD Bank to fund carbon monoxide detectors for the seniors in her town of Wayland, Massachusetts. Working with her local firefighters, she identified the needs of her town and applied to TD Bank’s Community Giving grant program. She received the $5000 grant and now the seniors in Wayland are safer because of her. To read more about this initiative, go to http://www.wickedlocal.com/wayland/features/x1609342098/Carbon-monoxide-detectors-for-Wayland-senior-citizens

UPCOMING CARBON MONOXIDE EFFORTS

These legislative efforts and initiatives are just the beginning. The Rittenour, Lofgren, and Feuerbach families are dedicated to making all states, all towns, all residences safer by passing local, state, and national carbon monoxide legislation.  In addition, the families hope to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sensor technology mandatory on all fuel-fired appliances. These sensors would automatically shut off any fuel-fired appliance if it malfunctioned in any way.

Through all these efforts, the families hope to honor the lives of Parker, Caroline, Owen, and Sophie Lofgren and to make sure that their deaths were not in vain.

 


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