When 49 people, including six adults and 43 children became sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning in Atlanta last year, state Representative Jim Hughes discovered that schools in the Buckeye State are not required by law to have CO detectors.
“Since this is a silent and deadly killer nobody can smell or see what's going on, so the purpose of this is to save lives," says the Republican Hughes, who represents the 16th District.
Under Senate Bill 162, Hughes wants to make all schools (new and old) to have CO detectors, and leave it up to school boards to decide where to put them.
“I think that cost versus a life, to me, it's a no brainer," says Hughes.
But at schools like Winchester Pike Elementary in Canal Winchester, the furnace supervisor Roger McLoney says its state of the art furnace already comes with a CO sensor inside. His school already satisfies the proposed law's requirements.
He says that prevents any CO gas to get to the school, and its designed to prevent what happened in Atlanta.
“It cannot happen here," he says.
He says the furnace at the school heats water and sends that to the classroom, so no air leaves the furnace room. McLoney also says the school was designed so the furnace room is in a separate building from the school, which is not always the case in older school buildings.
Under House Bill 162, it would be up to local school boards to determine how many CO detectors they need and where to put them.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas which is why it’s called “a silent killer.”