Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable - but is your school preventing it?

Adequate steps have to be taken to ensure health and life protection is taking place with the installation of, and use of, carbon monoxide detection devices at multiple points within a school property. And due to lax requirements in codes and laws, your school may not be as safe as you think.

Our "grading system" was designed with health safety in mind – not just life safety and bare minimum code recommendations or legislation.

 

After reading hundreds of reports showing the root causes of Carbon Monoxide incidents in daycares and schools, it is obvious to us we need more comprehensive prevention methods – from inspection frequency, to detection device locations and systems, and teacher training. Here's how we (and you) should grade a school:

A-school

An "A-school" is a school that's taking the health and life safety of its students, staff and community seriously when it comes to CO protection.

 

SYSTEMS + DETECTION

• The school has a hardwired, integrated detection system throughout their property, tied into emergency services and central dashboard

• The school has 'spot protection' using stand-alone, low-level CO alarms with battery backups in high risk detection zones in case of detection system failure

• Maintenance staff wears portable CO monitors (or multi-gas monitors) at all times to alert of a CO issue prior to it becoming serious or caught by sensors, and can take necessary steps to resolve

TRAINING + AWARENESS

• All staff and student body have received training on recognizing CO symptoms, CO emergency protocols, have an understanding of their CO detection zones and devices and how they should work

• School has "taken the pledge" to create a CO Task Force (includes students, teachers, maintenance, local public servant) to create programs and resources showing their CO risk in their school, high risk detection zones, list of sources and needs (available for public access)

PREVENTION 

• School has switched to "all electric" where possible - generators, cleaning equipment, even systems

• Maintenance personnel to check all CO-producing or CO-transporting equipment regularly for loose connection, corrosion, blocked ventilation

• Only allows use of gas-powered cleaning, construction and landscaping equipment on school property when full staff, students and community members are not on site

• School does not allow vehicles to idle in proximity to building, docking area

2

B-school

A "B-school" is taking steps to ensure the health and safety of students, staff and community – but has room for improvement in relation to overall safety and transparency. 

SYSTEMS + DETECTION

• The school has a hardwired, integrated detection system throughout their property, tied into emergency services and central dashboard

• The school has 'spot protection' using stand-alone, low-level CO alarms with battery backups in high risk detection zones in case of detection system failure

• Maintenance staff wears portable CO monitors (or multi-gas monitors) at all times to alert of a CO issue prior to it becoming serious or caught by sensors, and can take necessary steps to resolve

TRAINING + AWARENESS

• All staff, administrators and student body have received training on recognizing CO symptoms, CO emergency protocols, have an understanding of their CO detection zones and devices and how they should work

PREVENTION 

• Maintenance personnel to check all CO-producing or CO-transporting equipment regularly for loose connection, corrosion, blocked ventilation

• School does not allow vehicles to idle in proximity to building, docking area

3

C-school

A "C-school" has room for improvement in regards to systems/detection, training/awareness as well as prevention. It is laying the groundwork for stronger and more comprehensive CO prevention until larger investments can be made in safety.

SYSTEMS + DETECTION

• The school has stand-alone, low-level CO alarms with battery backups in high risk detection zones

• The school has stand-alone, standard CO alarms with battery backups in each classroom or area where students, staff gather (gym, cafeteria, hallways)

• Maintenance team wears portable CO monitors (or multi-gas monitors) at all times to alert of a CO issue prior to it becoming serious or caught by sensors, and can take necessary steps to resolve

TRAINING + AWARENESS

• Teachers and student body have received training on recognizing CO symptoms, CO emergency protocols, have an understanding of their CO detection zones and devices and how they should work

PREVENTION 

• Maintenance personnel to check all CO-producing or CO-transporting equipment regularly for loose connection, corrosion, blocked ventilation

4

D-school

A "D-school" is doing the bare minimum for carbon monoxide prevention and protection...but at least you're sort of protected?

SYSTEMS + DETECTION

• The school has working, stand-alone, standard CO alarms with battery backups in each classroom or area where students, staff gather (gym, cafeteria, hallways)

• Maintenance team lead wears a portable CO monitor (or multi-gas monitor) at all times to alert of a CO issue prior to it becoming serious or caught by sensors, and can take necessary steps to resolve

TRAINING + AWARENESS

• Teachers have received training on recognizing CO symptoms, CO emergency protocols, have an understanding of their CO detection zones and devices and how they should work

PREVENTION 

• Maintenance personnel to check all CO-producing or CO-transporting equipment regularly for loose connection, corrosion, blocked ventilation

Any school that does not meet the criteria above is FAILING. Students, teachers, staff and community members are at serious risk when entering a school that has not implemented preventions listed above.

Paramedics

Ready to be an "A-school?"

Visit our Take Action page for resources on preventing CO exposure in your school.