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Missouri, Kansas do not require carbon monoxide detectors in schools

Longfellow Elementary carbon monoxide leak
Posted at 6:02 PM, Oct 19, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a carbon-monoxide leak at Kansas City school Wednesday, the KSHB 41 I-Team dug into the laws surrounding carbon monoxide detectors in schools.

Seven students and two employees at Longfellow Elementary School — which is part of Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools — were taken to the hospital after showing symptoms of CO poisoning around 9:30 a.m.

The leak was blamed on a faulty boiler used for heating the building.

At least 12 states have laws requiring carbon monoxide detectors in school buildings.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Maryland all require carbon monoxide detectors in schools, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures, while Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia have similar laws, according to the Environmental Law Institute.

Missouri and Kansas has left the decision to local jurisdictions — including school districts, cities and counties — about whether to require carbon monoxide detectors.

RELATED | Parents reunite with kids, react to CO leak

A spokesperson for the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal confirmed that it doesn't require carbon monoxide detectors in schools, but added that "local jurisdictions may require them" and said "we do highly recommend the facilities have them."

A spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Public Safety said any requirement "would be done at the local level," while the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also said there is not a state requirement for carbon monoxide detectors in schools.

The I-Team contacted several school districts in the Kansas City area on Wednesday and several said they have carbon monoxide detectors in all district buildings. That group includes:

  • Fort Osage R-I School District
  • Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools
  • Kearney School District
  • Olathe Public Schools
  • Raymore-Peculiar R-II School District
  • Shawnee Mission School District

Our I-Team thrives on tips from viewers at home. If there's an issue you would like us to look into, please send us email to investigators@kshb.com.