TRENTON – The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono 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.
“For years, we have encouraged families to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes to provide them with a measure of protection against the silent killer,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “Our children deserve to have the same level of protection while at school. I think there is an expectation on the part of parents that our schools make every reasonable effort to ensure that our children learn in a healthy environment.”
Senator Buono notes that the genesis of her bill was an incident on October 4 of this year where 14 students at Our Lady of Peace School in Edison became ill and were treated for what is believed to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
“It’s unfortunate that school children had to fall sick before the public became aware that not all schools were equipped with carbon monoxidedetectors,” added Senator Buono. “But at the same time, this incident allows us to take action before a student is subject to more serious harm. This legislation will require schools to install detectors that it would seem only logical to already have.”
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.
The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 3-0 and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.