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State commission rejects Region community efforts to require carbon monoxide detectors

Michigan City Fire Marshal Kyle Kazmierczak observes the Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission Dec. 5, 2017 in Indianapolis as the commission votes to prevent a Michigan City ordinance from taking effect that would require newly built residences be outfitted with carbon monoxide detectors.

Dan Carden, The Times

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosier lawmakers have agreed to rein in a state commission that repeatedly has frustrated Northwest Indiana fire chiefs and elected officials by temporarily preventing local carbon monoxide detector ordinances from taking effect.

House Enrolled Act 1004, which advanced Tuesday to the governor's desk following a 90-0 House vote, prohibits the Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission from continuing to issue nonspecific local ordinance denials.

It previously passed the Senate, 49-0.

If approved, as expected, by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, the commission would be required to cite the particular provisions of the state fire safety or building laws that form the basis for the commission halting a local safety ordinance from going into force.

Several Region communities last year saw their carbon monoxide detector ordinances thwarted by the commission, seemingly without justification, as the Indiana Fire Code is silent on carbon monoxide detectors.

After The Times questioned Holcomb about the denials, the commission reversed its earlier rulings and permitted carbon monoxide detector requirements for new residential construction to take effect in Chesterton, Michigan City, LaPorte and Porter County.

See the latest from our Crossing the Line series here


Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.