Updated

Mandatory CO detectors in daycares considered by Quebec

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said a committee is studying whether daycares should be required to have carbon monoxide detectors, after more than 71 children and 14 adults at a daycare in Saint-Eustache, Que., were poisoned and hospitalized Tuesday.

Floor polishing machine suspected in gas leak at Saint-Eustache daycare

Staff and children are recovering after a carbon monoxide leak forced them to evacuate from the Garderies les Petits Explorateurs in Saint-Eustache, Que., on Tuesday. (CBC)

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said a committee is studying whether daycares should be required to have carbon monoxide detectors, after more than 71 children and 14 adults at a daycare in Saint-Eustache, Que., were poisoned and hospitalized Tuesday.

“There is a committee right now looking at this," Couillard said.

“Carbon monoxide detectors do exist. We have them in our homes so it's probably not a bad idea to look at this in daycare centres.”

Quebec's construction and safety code does not currently require carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in daycares, since they are not considered places where people sleep.

Two years ago, the Quebec Fire Chiefs Association called on the province's building authority to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory, after a leak in the Beauce region put an entire family in hospital.

According to a toxicologist at the University of Montreal, any homes or buildings that use natural gas or propane should have a detector.

“Every home or every building should have these detectors, especially if there is combustion going on, like propane gas being used or butane or natural gases,” Sami Haddad said.

But what happened in Saint-Eustache appears to be a fluke, since the building doesn't use gas for heating or cooking.

“That’s probably an unusual happening,” he said.

Daycare to reopen Friday

The air quality was back to normal Wednesday inside the Garderies les Petits Explorateurs, but the daycare remained closed as a precaution.

A spokesperson for Montreal's public health agency said the daycare should reopen by the end of this week.

Saint-Eustache fire Chief Charles de Rouville said the fire department suspects a machine used to polish the daycare floors may have malfunctioned, causing the leak.

As a preventive measure, three children spent the night at the Ste-Justine Hospital. They are expected to be released by Wednesday night.