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Should Carbon Monoxide Detectors Be In Our Schools?
Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on December 07, 2012 @ 8:08PM
Created on December 07, 2012 @ 6:30PM
This past Monday in Atlanta, Georgia a school was evacuated after carbon monoxide was discovered inside. They had no detectors in the building to let them know there was some sort of exposure, so many teachers and students had to be treated at their local hospital. No one was severely injured or died from this incident but it got us all thinking. Do schools in our state have them? And if not, should they?
The majority of schools around here do not have any form of carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is also known as the silent killer. It's a colorless, odorless, and tasteless toxic gas. Most of the students we talked to Friday said they never thought about it being a threat before, especially since it's usually something people really only stress out about for their homes. But after hearing the stories of almost 20 incidents in the past seven years at schools, they thought it might be a good idea. One student said it's better to be safe, so why not? But there were a few students who disagreed.
"If it's going to help improve the safety of some students than yes they should have them. If it poses a threat that carbon monoxide will harm us than our tuition should pay for it. It shouldn't be any worry about the cost if it will be a safety precaution to help these students," said Tanner Belt, FSU Engineering Student.

Carbon monoxide usually happens by something called incomplete combustion in fuel burning devices like furnaces or a gas stove. A lot of people told me they thought if it were to happen in schools it was probably because of the science departments with all the chemicals and gases there, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Professors at Fairmont State University told me they're always extra cautious in their labs and get rid of any toxins quickly. They said it usually just comes down to the venting of a building.

"If they are properly ventilated I don't see any real reason for carbon monoxide detectors. If they are improperly vented, which a lot of buildings aren't, they yes carbon monoxide detectors might be useful," said Professor Matthew Scanlon, Chemistry Department.

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