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Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your home?

Posted by British Gas in Smarter Living

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Following the recent Coronation Street story on carbon monoxide, we’re campaigning to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the importance of using a fully qualified gas safe registered engineer for any work involving gas appliances.  

We commissioned research to find out more about CO awareness in Britain’s households. This research revealed that Britain’s households don’t know about the dangers of CO; just 16% of households are fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm, placing them at risk of CO poisoning. 

The recent Coronation Street storyline, in which character Fiz Brown falls into a coma after a faulty gas boiler releases carbon monoxide, has highlighted the dangers of the ‘silent killer’.   

Following the stark findings of our research, we are calling for wider uptake of carbon monoxide alarms to prevent needless and avoidable CO incidents. We want installing a CO alarm in private homes to be mandatory.The research we conducted shows that only a third of households know what causes CO to escape and only 33% are able to identify the cause of a potentially fatal leak. 

Households are also failing to prioritise a CO alarm as a safety measure, with only 26% seeing it as a top three priority.  Most consider window locks, burglar alarms and even the family dog as more important when it comes to keeping them safe.  

Each year, around 30 people die from CO poisoning and Britain’s households are unaware of the potentially fatal symptoms. People are more likely to be able to identify the symptoms of chicken pox and meningitis than CO poisoning. In fact only 22% of those polled could identify the symptoms and this makes our call for alarms to be mandatory in private homes all the more relevant. 

Dave Bendle, National Incident Manager at British Gas said: “As the story on Coronation Street has shown, carbon monoxide is a silent killer and can leak from a range of household appliances. Even shared flues and chimneys can cause carbon monoxide to be released in the home.  That’s why it’s so important that all householders should fit a carbon monoxide alarm and ensure they complete an annual gas safety check. It’s a small investment which is easy to fit and could save lives.”

“Children and older people are particularly at risk.  The regular servicing of fuel-burning appliances, good ventilation and the use of audible CO detectors will help to reduce risk of this silent killer.”

British Gas is encouraging everyone to find out about the dangers of carbon monoxide and to invest in and fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. 

Discover key facts about carbon monoxide in the below infographic, and protect you and your family by buying an alarm here

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Sources: Gas Safe and COCAA: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/gas-and-electricity/gas-safety/carbon-monoxide-detector.html

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3 Comments

Brian F Brazil

How do I change a battery ????????? Probably NOT

British Gas

Hi Avril, We're pushing CO safety as well as many other areas this year as a priority, and although at this stage TV advertising is not one of the channels we will be using we are working alongside Gas Safety and other organisations closely to raise awareness. Thanks for getting in touch. Charles Social Media Team

Avril Samuel

As the mother of a victim of CO poisoning. It would be good if British Gas and the other energy companies made a TV advert warning of the dangers of CO - as Network Rail have done for level crossings.