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Hancock County Schools a frontrunner in carbon monoxide detection

Updated: Tuesday, August 5 2014, 05:47 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. -- Nearly 500 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Only five schools nationwide have carbon monoxide detectors.
That’s about to change locally, as the Hancock County School District is leading the way in West Virginia for schools that have the devices.
“We're the only county in the state to have COD detectors in all the schools," said Harold Miller, who started the push for Hancock County Schools a year ago.
The announcement was made at the Mary H. Weir Public Library in Weirton on Tuesday, with West Virginia State Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons, who is working to pass legislation that would require all West Virginia schools to have carbon monoxide detectors in its schools.
"I hope that West Virginia and Hancock County, in particular, would be a leader in this area in raising awareness about carbon monoxide,” Fitzsimmons said. “And I hope that it spreads to other states."
So far, carbon monoxide detectors are in Weirton Elementary school and two other elementary schools in the county. They will be installed in the remaining schools of the county soon. But for now, teachers at Weirton Elementary are excited about the latest safety system for their students.
“Having carbon monoxide detectors in our school is just one more safety item that we have in here," said Pam Mendrick, a kindergarten teacher at Weirton Elementary.
The carbon monoxide sensor is tied into the building control system. If it senses carbon monoxide in an area, the system shuts down the heating and ventilation system into the building.
Superintendent of Hancock County Schools Sue Smith understands carbon dioxide detectors are just as important as smoke detectors because there is no way to detect carbon monoxide without an alarm.
"We want to make sure that carbon dioxide is not in any of the facilities, and we just want to make sure that our students are safe," Smith said.
In the meantime, nationwide, there are only two states that require carbon monoxide detectors in schools.

Hancock County Schools a frontrunner in carbon monoxide detection


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