City approves methane detection systems at Dawes School, Levy Senior Center

After some high methane readings were found in the James Park area this spring, Evanston officials have received approval to install detection systems at nearby Dawes School and the Levy Senior Center.

Aldermen on Monday unanimously approved the purchase of the systems from Addison-based Tyco/Simplex/Grinnel at a cost of $42,554.

Officials reported findings of elevated methane readings this spring, 50 feet below the ground at sites in the park, located along Dodge Avenue and Oakton Street.

Since early May, fire inspectors have been using hand-held methane monitors to check levels at a frequency of three times per week.

Assistant City Manager Mary Lyons and Fire Chief Greg Klaiber reported that, to date, we have not discovered any elevated levels in either facility. However, they believe it is a matter of public safety to have a permanent detection system installed at each facility.

The systems will be integrated into existing fire alarm detection systems at the facilties, they said.

If an elevated level of methane were to be detected, an alarm would activate and alert all within the facility to evacuate immediately. Additionally, the fire department would be notified immediately and would respond to investigate, they said.

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