More than 100 people – most of them children – were sickened when carbon monoxide leaked from a faulty water heater flue at an intermediate school in Girard on Monday. Only a few people were hospitalized for observation, and the North Mac school district then installed carbon monoxide detectors.  It’s not the law.


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“There’s a very substantial health life safety code in the state of Illinois,” says Ben Schwarm, “where school buildings go through a more rigorous assessment of their safety features than most any other buildings.”

Schwarm is deputy executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards and says unfunded mandates are unpopular.  He says if there is a bill which comes through, he would favor finding money already available.

Meanwhile, he says, as North Mac has now done, districts are free to install detectors if they want to.

 (Copyright WBGZ Radio /