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Beginning on February 22, 2010 all homes in New York are now required to have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer. It´s odorless, tasteless and colorless. Breath in large amount and it can kill you. Amanda´s Law is named after Amanda Hansen, a 16-year-old from who died from CO poisoning in Erie County. "Her family lobbied for this. The law was passed. This is a good thing," said Pete Lattanzio, chief of the Colonie Department of Fire Services. Lattanzio is working to get the word out. So is Lowes in Colonie. Walk into the store and a display of CO detectors is one the first things you will see. So where´s the best place to put a CO detector? "If your appliances are in the basement people think that´s where I have to put the detector. We don´t want them there. We want them in the living area," Lattanzio said. Put it in the same place you put your smoke detectors. The United States already requires smoke detectors on every level of every residence near all sleeping areas. So many things in your home can emit carbon monoxide, including hot water heaters. If the power goes out and you choose to use a kerosene heater, that can do it too. ******************************* Carbon Monoxide Detectors Made Mandatory It’s a silent killer that is an odorless and colorless gas and claims hundreds of lives each year. One local fire department is reaching to warn people about the hazards of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is impossible to see, taste or smell. It can come from gas-fired appliances, charcoal grills, fireplaces and motor vehicles. The Medina Fire Department said it is not only important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it is the law in New York. “Previously, they had the law for any new homes or homes that were up for sale. But with the death of Amanda Hansen of West Seneca last year, it prompted them to revise it to all residents because she was not in a home that was new, or being sold… so there was not a requirement for carbon monoxide detectors,“ Jeffrey Elsenheimer, a firefighter for the village of Medina said. Amanda Hansen tragically died last year while sleeping at a friend’s house that had a carbon monoxide leak from a defective boiler. Jeffrey Elsenheimer, a firefighter for the Medina Fire Department said there are about 500 deaths in the United States each year and about 20,000 emergency room visits due to carbon monoxide exposure. “If you can reduce that number, even it’s a small percentage, it’s still helping to save lives and keep people from becoming ill,” Elsenheimer said. To help do that Elsenheimer suggests putting the detector near sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms. He suggests a model with an audible warning signal. If you don’t have one the fire department may be able to help you out. “Because we recognize the importance of having smoke detectors, and with the passage of Amanda’s Law, the fire department is definitely going to consider looking into carbon monoxide detectors as well,” Elsenheimer said. With it soon being the law to have carbon monoxide detectors in every home, what happens if you don’t? “Well, we´re not going to come knocking on your door and say, ‘We’re here to check to make sure you have them,’ but should there be an incident, it’ll be one of the things we´re checking for at your house. It’s not to impose a penalty on you, but to ensure the safety of yourself and your family,” Elsenheimer said.