Carbon monoxide detectors in schools: what you need to know

On January 14, 2019, a carbon monoxide leak at the elementary school École des Découvreurs in Lasalle caused approximately 50 students and staff members to fall ill. Fortunately, everyone recovered and the Quebec government has since decided to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in all the schools. In this article, Guard-X tells you about the effects of carbon monoxide and gives you the information you need to prevent an emergency.


A dangerous gas

Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by the burning of combustibles like wood, propane and gas. Gas stoves, snowblowers, generators and vehicles are among the many potential sources of carbon monoxide. They produce toxic amounts of the gas when they’re operating in a space that isn’t adequately ventilated.

In addition to being odourless and invisible, CO has no taste and isn’t an irritant. Therefore, a person is unable to detect it. The greater its concentration, the more damaging it is. A light case of carbon monoxide poisoning produces symptoms such as headaches and vomiting. More serious cases cause severe symptoms, as the gas begins to deprive red blood cells of oxygen. In some cases, loss of conscious and even death can result.

Effective prevention

In the wake of the incident in January, the Ministry of Education announced that all schools would soon need to abide by new regulations requiring that they be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and have them inspected annually.

If you haven’t already done so, make sure to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and at your company or institution. Position them in an appropriate location in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Additionally, ensure that the detector is working well by pushing the test button. Maintain your detectors by routinely changing the batteries and retesting them as you would do with a fire alarm. Have the pipes, vents and connectors of combustion appliances inspected regularly.

Finally, and most importantly, be very attentive when using fuel-burning devices. By acting in a careful manner and taking precautions, such as having effective carbon monoxide detectors, you’ll keep yourself and those around you safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Do you need to purchase a carbon monoxide detector? O maybe you’re looking for expert advice on performing a safe installation? In either case, be sure to reach out to us! The team at Guard-X is always pleased to assist you.

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