Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills a shocking 40 people a year in England and Wales, and a further 4,000 need hospital treatment. Symptoms, including headaches, nausea and dizziness can easily be confused with flu, but it’s much worse as it can cause brain damage and strokes.
Sadly, it’s all preventable. Homeowners are so often aware of other safety measures like smoke alarms, safety belts when driving, wearing bike helmets and so on, but carbon monoxide - named the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see, smell or taste it – often gets forgotten.
Scotland and NI lead the way
Scotland and Northern Ireland are already several steps ahead and require CO alarms in all properties. So I’ve joined the team working hard to raise awareness of CO poisoning and its dangers to countless families in England and Wales.
Please help the campaign!
We need to get the law changed so that carbon monoxide alarms are mandatory. At present, a measly 15% of UK homes have CO alarms compared to a whacking 84% with smoke alarms, so it’s high time the House of Commons debated this issue.
Sign our ‘notoco’ petition
Leading industry organisations are supporting this campaign to save lives – and now we want you to do the same.
It takes seconds to support CO week, just go to Epetitions and add your name to our growing list of supporters.
We need 100,000 signatures to get this tabled and debated, so your signature is vital.
What else can you do to keep safe?
Simple measures are really effective. For buyers, check there’s a CO alarm in your new property and ask for a gas safety certificate (and, ideally, an electrical one). If not, buy one for moving day,.
If you’re selling, a CO alarm installed means buyers know your property is safe, and if anything goes wrong they will be alerted to a gas leak.
If you’re investing in a property – especially if you’re renovating! – you should definitely install an alarm.
What and where to buy?
You can buy CO alarms from almost any hardware chain, but the best place to go to is the Fire Service’s BlueWatch.co.uk website.
There’s lots of information about the best choice for your property, and a range of products from single units for just £23 to multiple unit sets for larger properties.
And next time your Gas Safe engineer visits, ask him to check it’s working OK.