Nanny state, or common sense?

On the “go list” of items cleared for action today by the state House of Representatives are things on some folks’ weekend to-do list. Are they further evidence of a “nanny state,” or overdue safety measures that you may have thought were already on the books?

Been meaning to install a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector? If H.B. 5394 becomes law, those inexpensive, potential lifesavers will go from the realm of a good idea to a requirement of state law.

Current law requires smoke detectors only in one-family dwellings issued new occupancy permits since Oct. 1, 1978, and in two-family units issued permits since Oct. 1, 2005. The bill in the House makes them mandatory for every dwelling.

The bill in the House allows battery-powered detectors, which sell for as little as $8.

The CO detectors would be required in dwellings, unless they do not contain a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

A fatal fire in Stamford generated the push for mandatory smoke detectors.

Forgot to put your house number back up after doing that painting job?

Better get to it if H.B. 5380 becomes law. It’s “An Act Requiring the Display of House Numbers.”

By the way, this being a directive worthy of going into the Connecticut General Statutes, the bill is a tad more complex than simply saying, “Put a number on the house!”

The legislature requires 268 words to convey that:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) (a) The owner of a residential building shall affix numerals to such building indicating the street number assigned to such building by the town or, if there is no record of such assignment, the street number customarily used for such building.

(b) The numerals used to indicate the street number of a building shall be:

(1) Located on the exterior front of the building or on a post, sign, mailbox or other device located between the building and the street;

(2) At least four inches in height;

(3) Of a color contrasting with the color of the background material to which the numerals are affixed; and

(4) Positioned not less than four feet or more than twelve feet above the surface of the ground.

(c) The location and size of the numerals shall be sufficient to ensure their legibility when the building is viewed from one or more points along the centerline of the street on which the building fronts between projections of the sides of the building intersecting perpendicularly with such centerline.

(d) If a building is set back more than one hundred feet from the centerline of the street on which the building fronts, or if the numerals would not be legible from such centerline because of an obstruction, the numerals shall be affixed to a post, sign, mailbox or other device located within ten feet of the driveway entrance to the building.

(e) Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.