Plan To Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Schools Headed To Governor
A bill awaiting Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature would require Illinois schools to install carbon monoxide detectors.
One Monday morning last fall, some students and teachers at North Mac Middle School in Girard weren’t feeling well. The health teacher, Alan Love, who also happens to be a registered nurse, told superintendent Marica Cullen the school might have a gas leak.
“And I could just tell from the look on his face, he wasn’t speaking to me as a teacher, he was speaking to me as a nurse….So we called an evacuation of the building. And actually it was later on that it was determined that it was carbon monoxide,” she said.
The leak was traced to a faulty water heater. About 150 students and staff were treated at area emergency rooms. The incident inspired legislation requiring all schools install alarms that can detect this odorless, colorless gas.
“You can’t taste it, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, which makes it very insidious," she added. "At that time, we didn’t know if we had a gas leak. We did not know what was going on. We just knew we had sick people in the building, and let’s get them out of the building.”
The measure has passed the General Assembly. If it’s signed into law, it will take effect in January.