A measure that will encourage more fire departments to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the homes of senior citizens and the home-bound has been approved by the state House of Representatives, state Representatives Lawrence G. Miller and Jason Perillo said today.
Both legislators cosponsored and voted for the measure (House Bill 6286), which passed the state House unanimously April 30th. The proposal is awaiting final legislative approval by the state Senate.
“Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors save lives and no one should be without them,” said Representative Miller, R-122nd District. “For those who cannot afford them and are at greater risk from fires as a result, this bill will be a godsend. It will alleviate the threat of crippling lawsuits that have deterred many local fire departments from undertaking a valuable program that will enhance fire safety for thousands of Connecticut residents.”
Representative Perillo, R-113th District argued in support of the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives and urged colleagues to vote in favor of the proposal.
“There are fire departments throughout Connecticut that for years have wanted to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at no cost to residents who cannot afford them,” Perillo said. “If this bill becomes law, many local fire departments that decided against providing the service for fear of lawsuits, will reconsider their decisions – and thousands of people on fixed incomes, many of them elderly, who never installed smoke detectors, will be able to sleep better at night.”
The bill would exempt fire departments from liability for civil damages for personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other loss when they deliver or install smoke or carbon monoxide detectors or batteries for the devices in people’s homes and condominiums. Under the proposal, the devices must be new and meet all applicable current safety and manufacturing standards. They also must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and be installed or delivered in the department’s official capacity, the legislators said.