New tool will help Code inspectors save lives

Portable 4-way gas monitors now go on every visit
COVINGTON, Ky. – When the City of Covington’s building code inspectors visit any occupied residence these days, an orange-colored device resembling a two-way radio is clipped to their uniforms.
It might just save a life.
The devices are handheld gas monitors, and the inspectors began carrying them last week to alert residents to any unsafe levels of various gases in the air.
“We’re not specifically inspecting for these gases, but the devices just help us provide an added layer of protection for the residents of the City,” said Walt Mace, Covington’s Code Enforcement Manager. “We’re pretty excited to have these in our toolbox.”
After all, Mace said, ensuring the health and safety of residents is the primary mission of Covington’s four full-time code enforcement inspectors.
Inspectors carry the devices – specifically the Coreel Portable 4 Gas Detector – whenever they do an interior inspection, he said. That would include rental units before they’re occupied, homeless shelters, and short-term rentals, such as those listed on home-sharing websites.
Specifically, the devices measure for carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide (a highly flammable and highly toxic gas occurring naturally in sewers and well water, among other places), as well as for O2 (unburnt oxygen) and LEL, or lower explosive level of flammable gases.
Previously, the inspectors carried only CO monitors, but they were limited in what they measured, Mace said.
The new devices are part of an ongoing top-to-bottom look at improving the effectiveness of the Code Enforcement division, which included the decision to move from part-time staff to full-time staff, he said.
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