Utah PTA official says carbon monoxide detectors needed in schools

Posted at 10:14 PM, Nov 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-19 00:14:41-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- With thecarbon monoxide poisoning case in the San Juan School District, you might be surprised to know that Utah has no law mandating the use of carbon monoxide detectors in schools.

In fact, only two states in the entire country, Maryland and Connecticut, require detectors.

But the Utah Parent Teacher Association says what happened at Montezuma Creek Elementary was a real eye-opener for them, and the discussion to put carbon monoxide detectors in schools needs to start now.

Dawn Davies, Utah PTA president-elect, admitted she had assumed carbon monoxide detectors were mandatory in schools, and was surprised to learn they were not.

Davies said she talked to a couple of districts Monday, and found they have policies in place to do regular checks in schools for carbon monoxide, and will also do additional testing when students or teachers report feeling drowsy or sluggish.

For the safety and well-being of Utah students and teachers, Davies said schools need to have those detectors. But the PTA isn’t waiting for the state legislature.

“I hope the parents out there are asking questions at their school today,” Davies said. “What do we have in place? What are the regulations? What do you see changing as a result of what happened today? Ask the questions.”