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At Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Atlanta City Council, the body voted to approve legislation mandating the use of carbon monoxide detectors in public buildings (legislative reference no. 12-O-1825).

Public Safety Committee Chair and Post 1 At-Large Councilmember Michael Julian Bond pushed for passage of the legislation following the carbon monoxide scare at Finch Elementary School last year.

“This legislation protects our children. We have no higher duty than to ensure their safety, and this legislation does that,” said Bond. “Not only will every school and public building in the city now be outfitted with the necessary carbon monoxide detectors, but we have now developed consistent procedures across the city for regularly inspecting this equipment.”

Under the new legislation, every public building under the jurisdiction of the City of Atlanta must be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors and warning equipment effective July 1. This equipment will be monitored and inspected regularly to ensure proper maintenance in accordance with regulations established by Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

Exposure to carbon monoxide, which is colorless and odorless, can cause serious harm including headache, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, confusion, and at high levels, loss of consciousness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, with more than 20,000 requiring a trip to the emergency room.

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