The Virginia senate unanimously passed a bill this week allowing localities to require carbon monoxide detectors in some buildings.
It would apply to dwellings such as houses, apartments and hotels that contain a fuel-fired appliance or are attached to a garage or carport.
John Huddle, Rockingham County Assistant Fire Marshall, says the proposal has merit.
"Yeah, we think it's a good idea," says Huddle. "It will give localities the ability to require carbon monoxide detectors where they seem appropriate, mainly in situations where the individual resident may not be able to protect themselves from what's going on elsewhere in their apartment building or the hotel that they're staying in for instance."
The bill is inspired by two incidents in which hundreds were sickened by carbon monoxide leaks at both Roanoke College and an apartment complex near Virginia Tech.