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Schools poisonings

One of the first places I tell my students in Carbon Monoxide class to check is the school their kids attend.  In my 34 years of testing, schools still rank as Number 3 on my most dangerous building list.

Atlanta school administrators had their maintenance people tear down the boiler before the state inspectors could check it for the problem.  The boiler had been serviced two days before the incident.

NO SERIOUS INJURIES!!!  6 children were carried out unconscious!!  Stupid reporting or just a cover up??

News from Albuquerque, NM shows a technician testing all their equipment.  But in the video he is testing in the wrong location on one piece of equipment and doesn't have a clue what the readings mean. 

One doctor reported that CO starts to hurt you at 50ppm.  Yeah if you work in an industrial plant which is the OSHA standard.  Of course all the alarms that might be installed won't go off until they hit 70ppm for at least an hour.  They would be much safer in a parking garage. 

Too often I read stories about poisonings within days after equipment was serviced.  Makes one wonder if they would all be better off if no one touched it or what does a "Qualified Contractor" really mean.  Apparently if you have a combustion analzyer, have a HVAC license and are EPA Certified you must be good!

The CO stories in the news all over the country after this school poisoning are just as horrible as they were 30 years ago.  In is a shame that in the year 2012 the ignorance about CO hasn't changed.


  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 1,049
    protect your children

    Maybe parents should be sending their kids to school with a relatively inexpensive personal CO alarm clipped onto their school bags. I'm serious. I've personally seen paramedics do this on response to an old lady collapsing at a grocery store and over 20 people went to the ED including 5 to the Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber. This will only be addressed once people get involved. You let a kid take an alarm to school and call you if it goes off then see the firestorm as the school tries to forbid the carrying of a personal alarm and cover that one up.

    By touching the boiler in question, they can committed as "spoliation" of evidence. Basically, this means a judge will clobber them and they essentially lose any defense they had. The administrators who ordered this as well as those in charge of mechanical systems and maintenance should lose their jobs, too.
  • Jim Davis_3
    Jim Davis_3 Member Posts: 578
    Inciting a riot

    That is probably what the kids parents would be charged with if they carried a personal CO monitor to school.  I recommend my students get one for their kids to carry in their school bags. 

    I will be following up on this story this week with some of my students from Atlanta.  I even emailed a writer for a newspaper in Atlanta I had talked with on the phone and ask him if he wanted to get the facts straight.  Seems like he is satisfied with what the gas company, fire department and doctors are saying.
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