Marine Carbon Monoxide Detectors Slated for 2018

Carbon Monoxide poisoning isn’t only a risk inside a house. It’s a risk in any enclosed space.

After 7-year-old Sophia Baechler died in 2015 from carbon monoxide poisoning while riding in a boat in 2015, a law was passed requiring carbon monoxide detectors on boats.

Minnesota is the first state to implement this requirement. Sophia’s Law was to take effect last month, but it has now been slated to effect May 1, 2018. The delay is due to availability issues of marine carbon monoxide detectors.

On boats, carbon monoxide poisoning can happen when the gas builds up from an idling motor, generator, or faulty motor exhaust system.

Similar sources found in a house are:

  • Furnaces or boilers
  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning
  • Water heaters
  • Power generators
  • Motor vehicles

Baechler’s death was the result of carbon monoxide leaking from a hole into the boat’s exhaust pipe.

The law requires any motorboat with an “enclosed accommodation area” i.e. sleeping areas, galleys with sinks, toilet compartments etc.… to have a marine-certified carbon monoxide detector. Motorboats with “an enclosed occupancy space” aren’t required to have detectors but must have three warning stickers about carbon monoxide poisoning.


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