Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Boone police present findings on Best Western deaths

More Information

  • Timeline: Boone hotel deaths
  • June 17: Pool heater was installed without permit
  • July 13: Turmoil came before the tragedies
  • Boone hotel heater came with warnings, but detectors never installed
  • Health agency: No errors investigating Boone deaths
  • Who inspects your hotel?

    A wide array of agencies and organizations inspect hotels in North Carolina, all focusing on specific areas.

    Local Code Enforcement Department

    During construction, code inspectors see nearly all aspects of the hotel – including those hidden behind a wall or underground.

    Inspectors review the building’s structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and zoning features. They inspect renovations and equipment replacements.

    Inspectors did not know Best Western replaced the hotel’s pool heater in fall 2011. In March 2012, inspectors did review and pass the heater’s conversion from liquid propane to natural gas.

    Local Health Department

    The department inspects hotels annually or after a complaint is filed. It inspects lodging, food and pool areas.

    A 33-point checklist guides inspectors as they review the pool’s water quality, maintenance and equipment and dressing rooms.

    Health officials do not inspect pool heaters.

    Local Fire Marshal

    The fire marshal inspects hotels annually and after a complaint. Inspections can last more than two hours and review everything from evacuation plans and lighting to sprinklers and kitchen exhaust systems.

    It does not test for carbon monoxide.

    N.C. Department of Labor

    The state Department of Labor inspects elevators and some large mechanical equipment such as water heaters, refrigeration equipment and kitchen cookers.

    Most objects are inspected every two years, a department spokeswoman said. She said the state had no knowledge of the heater that leaked carbon monoxide in Boone.

    The Occupational Safety And Health Administration

    OSHA, the agency that regulates workplace safety, conducts some random inspections and inspects hotels after a complaint or incident.

    Inspectors are free to check the entire hotel for workplace safety issues.

    Hotel Owners

    The American Hotel and Lodging Association compiled a 12-page safety and security checklist for hotel owners.

    Topics covered by the checklist include hazardous materials, kitchens, swimming pools, rooms and public areas, housekeeping areas and fire safety.

    The checklist does not mention of pool heaters or carbon monoxide alarms.

    AAA

    AAA awards a Diamond Rating to top hotels. The rating system concentrates mostly on aesthetics, amenities and service, a spokeswoman said.

    Hotels must meet basic standards for security, comfort and cleanliness.

    Better Business Bureau

    The Better Business Bureau accredits hotels after reviewing government actions, complaints and pattern of complaints, among other issues. It does not do its own safety inspections, a spokeswoman said.

    Gavin Off



The Boone Police Department planned on Thursday to give prosecutors evidence gathered about the carbon monoxide poisonings at the Best Western.

Police spent six months investigating, and it will be up to District Attorney Jerry Wilson whether any criminal charges are presented to a grand jury. Wilson said in an interview last month that he didn’t expect a decision until January.

The investigation stemmed from two sets of deaths at the hotel. Daryl and Shirley Jenkins of Longview, Wash., died in April and two months later 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams of Rock Hill died and his mother, Jeannie, suffered debilitating injuries.

Authorities traced the deadly gas to the swimming pool water heater.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com