Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Silent danger. Several carbon monoxide scares have prompted schools statewide to consider installing detectors even though they’re not required by law. Who’s taking action to protect your children?
Mike Hellgren investigates.
Outraged parents are urging state lawmakers to mandate carbon monoxide detectors in all Maryland schools after WJZ reported extensively on two leaks just days apart at Dickey Hill Elementary.
“It hurts my heart to think that something could really happen to the kids in this community,” said Cynthia Simons, grandmother.
Parent Tiffany Price was stunned to learn they are not required by law.
“When they’re in homes, they should also be in schools,” Price said.
Our WJZ investigation found Anne Arundel County does not have them but is considering installing detectors; Baltimore County schools don’t have them; Howard County has them in 30 percent of schools; Harford County does not have them; neither does Carroll County—and there are no plans to install them there.
As WJZ was first to report, next week 35 Baltimore City schools will get detectors. And next month, they’ll be in all city schools.
“At least it is that one step, something in this case. Anything’s better that nothing,” said Bruce D. Bouch, deputy state fire marshal.
It’s an issue being raised in other state legislators. Many do not have mandates.
Nationwide, carbon monoxide kills an average of 450 people and sickens 20,000 every year.
“When we send our children away to school, we expect them to be safe because we expect them to return,” Bouch said.“When you have issues like this, that’s what brings it to light.”
Many parents say they won’t give up on protecting their children from this silent killer.
“Can hope they do what they need to do to get it under control,” Price said. “’Cause this is twice in one week. Very unacceptable.”
At least six Baltimore City students have been sickened and one hospitalized because of the recent leaks.