State lawmakers want CO detectors in Maryland hotels

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Eight employees and one guest of the Westin Hotel at BWI went to the hospital, including four who went to the hyperbaric chambers at Shock Trauma, to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Now Eric Hammack with the Anne Arundel County Department said a flue valve related to the water heater in the laundry room caused the leak.

A carbon monoxide leak could have deadly consequences. Fire officials say a reading of 35 parts per million for carbon monoxide is when they become concerned. When they arrived at the Westin, they found readings much higher.

“The highest readings at the Westin Hotel was 700 to 800 parts per million,” Hammack said.

Making matters worse, the Westin Hotel did not have any CO detectors as only new hotels built after 2013 are required to do so. Because of the problems this past weekend at the hotel, Anne Arundel county fire officials insisted some carbon monoxide detectors be installed.

“Our code enforcement unit has required them to install carbon monoxide detectors in the laundry room where the leak was and the areas close by the laundry room,” Hammack said.

This incident has gotten the attention of lawmakers in Annapolis. Sen. Joan Carter-Conway has introduced emergency legislation that will effect older hotels exempted from having CO detectors.

“I thought we should have the bill for all hotels and have carbon monoxide detectors in each of them,” Carter-Conway said.

Conway says that costs associated with this bill shouldn't be a concern to the hotel industry if it becomes a law.

“If it does, become a law, it saves a life,” she said.

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