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Anniversary of young girls passing reminds public to install and replace CO alarms

BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | January 24, 2013

On January 17, 2009, a teenage girl from West Seneca lost her life to carbon monoxide poisoning while having a slumber party at a friend’s house. The home had a defective boiler, which led to 16-year-old Amanda Hansen’s death. As tragic as this story is, two parents did their best to turn it into a positive one.

“We just knew we had to do something and you take the high road or the low road and we chose the high one,” said Ken Hansen, Amanda Hansen’s father.

Hansen and his wife Kimberly helped pass a new law requiring all residents in NY State to have CO alarms installed in their homes. The two met with state assemblymen and senators and worked with local schools to see that this never happened to another family again. The law, which was passed Feb. 22, 2010, was rightfully named Amanda’s Law. In fact, Hansen stated this was the fastest law to ever pass in NY State.

Now Amanda’s Law is a reminder to the public that without the proper CO alarm, an innocent life could be lost. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, heard, or smelled so it is very important to make sure every home has the proper equipment to protect those who are inside. According to the NY State Department of Health the law requires that CO alarms must be installed in all new and existing one and two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings and rentals. The detectors must be replaced every five years and must be installed in each dwelling unit or sleeping unit where a carbon monoxide source is located. Currently, the Hansen’s are working with Senator Charles Schumer to see if the law can go federal.

“That’s our biggest goal right now. We just don’t want to see another child pass away from this so we keep pushing to get the word out there,” said Hansen.

The Hansen’s also put together the Amanda Hansen Foundation where throughout the year they raise money to spread awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning. All proceeds go towards purchasing CO detectors, which are distributed to various communities; last year the Hansen’s were able to purchase 10,000 detectors. Hansen stated that Roy’s Plumbing, Cheektowaga and Financial Trust Federal Credit Union are his biggest supporters.

“Right now Financial Trust Credit Union has CO detectors and with a $10 donation they will give you one,” said Hansen.

For more information on Amanda’s Law or the Amanda Hansen Foundation visit www.amandahansenfoundation.org/

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