Alert over carbon monoxide dangers

01 Nov 2011

Two thirds of homes in the UK are vulnerable to potentially fatal carbon monoxide leaks as they are not fitted with alarms to detect the poisonous gas, new research has shown.

The data from the Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! campaign group, which is aimed at raising awareness and trying to cut the toll of deaths and injuries that the gas causes, also revealed that one in five people do not know that carbon monoxide can be deadly.

The odourless, tasteless and colourless gas killed at least 50 people in the UK last year and another 4,000 ended up needing hospital treatment after they were poisoned. Many more victims of carbon monoxide poisoning are not recorded because the early symptoms are often mistaken for tiredness, flu or food poisoning.

Christine McGourty of Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! said: "We are urging people to go out and buy an alarm now - but there are also two simple steps we'd like the Government to take.

"Firstly, building regulations should be amended so that new homes come with alarms already installed. Secondly, providing an alarm should be part of a landlord's annual gas safety inspection."

Copyright Press Association 2011

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