Fire crews tackle CO poisoning

14 Dec 2011

Two fire services have visited thousands of homes in a bid to cut down on the scores of deaths caused by carbon monoxide (CO) each year.

West Midlands and Merseyside fire services travelled to 23,000 properties as part of Britain's biggest study into CO poisoning.

The crews have taken readings of the deadly gas from each home and plan to install monitors in 1,200 properties across Liverpool.

The CO monitors will take air sample readings every two minutes for two weeks.

It is hoped that the study will highlight the extent of the CO poisoning problem, caused by the colourless, odourless and tasteless gas.

Across England and Wales exposure to carbon monoxide is responsible for the deaths of 50 people every year, with A&E departments diagnosing around 4,000 more with CO poisoning.

And many more people could be suffering from CO poisoning but may be unaware of the cause, fears Dr Andrew Shaw, of Liverpool John Moores University, and leader of the study.

"As an academic study this is very important because, for the first time, this will show how many homes do not have CO alarms fitted and get a true figure on the potential risk for CO poisoning," he said.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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