Carbon Monoxide Concern Closes Skiatook Day Care
SKIATOOK, Oklahoma - Concerns about possible high concentrations of carbon monoxide prompted a Green Country day care to close for the day.
With a recent carbon monoxide death, and several illnesses, school leaders didn't want to take any chances.
Usually the Osage Nation Child Development Center in Skiatook would be full of children. But school was cancelled Thursday and the facility was closed because of concerns about possible carbon monoxide.
"That's one of the things that we have trained our staff to do is any sort of irregularities, especially when it comes to sewer lines or gas odors. or if you start feeling nauseous or sick for no explained reason, let's find out what the problem is and let's get it taken care of," explained Joseph Tillman, Tribal Education Leader.
The Osage Nation says an employee smelled an unusual odor and had a headache. Firefighters detected slightly higher than normal carbon monoxide levels. They weren't in the dangerous range. But, the tribe decided to go ahead and close as a precaution.
"Anytime you're dealing with children, in child care, even if there is a hint of carbon monoxide we want to do the right thing, run the experts through here with the licenses and degrees to tell us that we have the green light to go ahead," Tillman said.
Inspections by heat and air professionals and ONG didn't find unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. It turns out, the source of the concern was an electrical problem with a transformer inside a computer backup battery pack. Still, Skiatook Fire Chief Dale Parrish says the Osage Nation made a good call in closing.
"You can't play around with it. It's the time of year, heating systems are going up, it's when we get all of our calls, so yes always err on the side of safety," said Skiatook Fire Chief Dale Parrish.
Although experts gave the all clear, the center will be closed Friday too because the Osage Nation wants a second round of testing to be on the safe side.
The center is expected to reopen on Monday. It's important to point out carbon monoxide doesn't have an odor. That's why Skiatook's fire chief says everyone should have one. He says detectors have gone way down in price and up in quality over the past few years.