A candlelight vigil will be held on Saturday for former Niagara Falls boy Trai Schlichter, who died Feb. 4 from carbon monoxide poisoning in his family’s apartment in Airdrie, Alberta.
The RCMP said the incident was caused by an improperly vented water heater.
Trai was 12-years-old.
In Alberta, according to the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, carbon monoxide alarms are required in “certain rooms or spaces of buildings that contain a residential occupancy.”
“Carbon monoxide alarms need to be provided within bedrooms or corridor areas where a fuel-burning appliance is installed in a suite of residential occupancy, or where a suite of residential occupancy shares a wall or floor/ceiling assembly with a vehicle storage garage.”
Schlichter’s death sparked a call by family and friends to try and bring awareness to CO poisoning and make laws stricter across Canada.
An online petition called Project Trai, which calls for Alberta to introduce stricter legislation regarding CO alarms, has been signed by more than 18,000 people so far.
Trai’s aunt Ashley Schlichter said words don't really do justice describing him.
“He is amazing, and words like that doesn’t even come to close of the feeling you got when being around him. He made friends whereever he went. He was always making people smile. He loved to go boating, ATV-ing, camping with his parents Elysha and Jayla. And video games like all kids do.”
The family wants to create awareness to Trai's story so nobody else goes through the same situation.
Saturday’s vigil will be held at Firemens Park in Niagara Falls at 5 p.m.
A separate vigil held in Airdrie last Sunday saw dozens attend to honour Trai, wearing his favourite colours — black, orange, white and lime green — according to Alberta media.
“We need the province of Alberta to introduce stronger legislation around carbon monoxide detectors. They must be installed in homes and buildings to the same degree that we require smoke detectors – if the property owners will not protect the people, we demand the province and the city step up,” reads the petition.
Trai’s Facebook, now memorialized, says a bit about his sense of humour; Trai’s job?
“Freeloading off my parents.”
- In Ontario it is mandatory for residences to have a working carbon monoxide detector.
- Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous because it has no scent. Carbon monoxide buildups frequently go undetected until it is too late.
- Smoke inhalation from fires is the most common form of CO poisoning.
- Vehicle exhaust is the most common source of exposure for most people.
- The risk of CO poisoning can increase during winter, when homes are more tightly sealed to
- conserve heat and fuel-burning appliances are used more often.
- Carbon monoxide is almost identical in weight to normal air and thus mixes freely with air.
- Carbon monoxide can ignite or even explode when it builds up in an enclosed, unventilated
- area and comes in contact with a spark or flame. A spark from the operation of a wall switch, a cellphone, telephone or transmitting 2-way radio can ignite CO gas. However, anyone exposed to these high percentages would be killed long before the gas ignited.
- At least 50 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning every year in Canada, though statistics are limited because there is currently no national database that records CO deaths. The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is working toward collecting statistics country-wide.
With information from government of Alberta.
What: Candlelight vigil for Trai Schlichter
Where: Firemens Park, 2275 Dorchester Rd., Niagara Falls
When: 5 p.m.