COLUMBIA, S.C. (SCRN/AP/WVOC) - The North Carolina motel room where an 11-year-old South Carolina boy and an elderly couple from Washington state died did not have carbon monoxide detectors because they're not required by state law.
But starting next month in South Carolina, new building codes take effect that will require C-O detectors.
New and existing homes, hotels, motels, dormitories and even some apartment units will have to install carbon monoxide detectors and alarms.
Chairman of the state Building Codes Council, Gregory Parsons, told the South Carolina Radio Network he agrees there needs to be monitoring for the deadly gas that blocks the blood's ability to carry oxygen.
“Carbon monoxide is very dangerous and you see (instances of) it all the time. As you know, it is a colorless, odorless gas,” Parsons points out.
It would cost up to $150 to install the detectors, according to Home Builders of South Carolina executive officer Mark Nix. But he supports the new requirements.
“I don't see an issue at all. Safety is paramount. And if there is a source material there that could cause that, we don't see an issue at all,” Nix says. “What we try to strive for is the safest and most affordable house you can put on the market”.
The carbon monoxide that seeped into the deadly room at the Best Western motel in Boone, North Carolina, came from an improperly ventilated heater for the swimming pool.
But C-O poisoning can also occur when a car is left running inside a garage.