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State Senator wants SUNY to check on CO detectors

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Buffalo: State Senator wants SUNY to check on CO detectors
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Legislation is being drafted to strengthen rules regarding carbon monoxide detectors in State University of New York dorm rooms. It's in response to a Sunday night scare at the University at Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sunday night, students living in Richmond Quad on the University at Buffalo's North Campus were evacuated for several hours because of a carbon monoxide leak.

"This happened at about 8:30 at night and there were seven individuals that became extremely ill because of carbon monoxide poisoning," said Sen. Tim Kennedy, (D), Buffalo. "Had this been a few hours later and they were sleeping, who knows if they would've ever woken up."

Right now, in state buildings, Tim Kennedy said detectors have to be within 15 feet of rooms where people sleep.

"We want to make sure there are working detectors in each and every room," he said.

Kennedy is drafting legislation to strengthen rules regarding detectors and their maintenance at SUNY schools.

"We want to make sure that we avoid circumstances that happened this weekend from ever happening again," he said.

A SUNY spokesperson said, in a statement Tuesday: "Student safety is paramount to SUNY and incidents such as the one at UB are rare. The many buildings across the system adhere to state building codes, including regular inspections. As we have not seen any bill language, it would be premature to comment further at this time."

Kennedy said he's sent a letter to the Chancellor and hopes changes are made even before his bill is passed.

"We are asking that immediately the State University of New York implement immediately a system that is stronger than what is put in place," he said.

UB said it has replaced detectors that were missing with a plug-in detector in every room, but the university plans to install permanent detectors. Kennedy said that will be a stipulation for all schools in his bill.

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