Schools may soon be required to add carbon monoxide detectors - WSMV News 4

Schools may soon be required to add carbon monoxide detectors

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Carbon monoxide can take your life in a matter of minutes, yet there are no laws in Tennessee requiring protection against it. However, after the Channel 4 I-Team got involved, at least one city leader plans a fight to change that.

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the "silent killer." It has no odor, taste or color, and without a detector, it may be impossible to detect a leak before it's too late.

The Channel 4 I-Team has been investigating ever since dozens of Nashville children were hospitalized in January after a leak at their school.

More than 40 students survived that carbon monoxide leak from a busted heating unit at Drexel Academy.

Smoke alarms are required in Nashville schools and homes, but carbon monoxide detectors are not, and Metro Councilman Scott Davis said he knows all too well what the students' parents went through.

"I have had an unfortunate experience recently with my own child," said Davis.

Thankfully, Davis' daughter is OK after being hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning. Now, Davis wants an ordinance passed requiring detectors in Nashville's public buildings.

"Looking at ways to require schools and other public buildings that use gas to have carbon monoxide detectors so that none of these other tragedies can happen again," said Davis.

The state doesn't require carbon monoxide detectors in schools.

Drexel had carbon monoxide detectors installed at the time the students became ill, but they were not located in the classrooms where the children got sick. And those alarms eventually sounded, but it wasn't until hours after the school had already been evacuated when officials originally believed the students were sick with the flu.

More than 40 students were admitted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning, where they spent the next 23 hours hooked up to oxygen tanks as a precaution.

The school has since installed carbon monoxide detectors throughout the building, which is something officials with the Nashville Fire Department would like to see in buildings across the city.

When Drexel installed those new carbon monoxide detectors, several Channel 4 News viewers noticed those detectors should've been installed lower on the wall. So, the I-Team checked in to it.

Fire officials said some carbon monoxide detectors should be installed at knee height and others at approximately two-feet below the ceiling.

The best advice is to follow the instructions that come with the individual detector.

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