METUCHEN – Senator Barbara Buono announced today the introduction of legislation that would require every New Jersey elementary and secondary school to install carbon monoxide detectors inside each building, reducing the likelihood of children falling sick from carbon monoxide poisoning while on school grounds.
“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children’s health when they send them off to school,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “The reports that over a dozen children at Our Lady of Peace School were treated for what is believed to be carbon monoxide poisoning brings great concern to all parents of school-aged children. This legislation will require schools to install detectors that it would seem only logical to already have.”
Senator Buono notes that the impetus for her new bill was an incident on October 4 where 14 students at a parochial school in Edison became ill and were treated for what is believed to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Carbon monoxide has been called the ‘silent killer’ because it is impossible for people to detect without special equipment and can affect a person before they can realize that something is wrong,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “The first symptom is drowsiness, which can easily be mistaken for late day fatigue. By the time more definite symptoms occur, the individual is very sick.”
The bill, S-2842, would require the installation of carbon monoxide sensor devices in all buildings used as schools, including public or privately owned schools. The sensors would not be required in school buildings which do not have a heat source which could potentially emit carbon monoxide fumes. The Commissioner of Community Affairs is directed by the bill to develop regulations concerning the installation and standards for the detectors and inspections would be done by local fire officials or the Division of Fire Safety.
“Carbon monoxide detectors are fairly inexpensive, but can provide the early warning needed to prevent a visit to the hospital,” said Senator Buono. “Our schools need to take the necessary precautions to protect our children’s health while in class and carbon monoxide detectors are a critical part of those precautions.”
S-2842 is currently awaiting assignment to a committee.