Carbon monoxide detectors not required in Wisconsin schools - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Carbon monoxide detectors not required in Wisconsin schools

In Wisconsin, carbon monoxide detectors are required by law in homes and commercial buildings with fuel burning appliances.

Officials say it's meant to save lives.

"We don't want to lose people on something that can be prevented and this is one cheap, easy way to help prevent that," said Ed Erickson, Marshfield Deputy Fire Chief.

Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless.

Victims of poisoning by the gas experience flu-like symptoms.

According to Deputy Chief Erickson, about 500 people per year die in the United States as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. It's the most common type of poisoning in the country.

But carbon monoxide detectors are not required in Wisconsin schools.

Columbus Catholic Schools in Marshfield do not have carbon monoxide detectors.

Principal Steven Van Wyhe says carbon monoxide poisoning wasn't something school officials had previously considered.

"Generally, the only spot where carbon monoxide would build up would be near our boiler room which is away from our students. Also, with students being awake during the school day, a lot of carbon monoxide poisoning happens overnight," said Van Wyhe.

But he says it's something the school will now be looking into.

"It's something that definitely has become more of a priority now with this most recent set of events in Atlanta, and so I  definitely think something we're going to look at very quickly and figure out what the best course of action for the safety of our students will be," said Van Wyhe.

Fire department officials recommend that other schools also look into installing carbon monoxide detectors.

For more information on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning, visit http://www.cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm

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