Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2015
This year, the 10th Carbon Monoxide Awareness
week begins on the 16th November 2015. Carbon Monoxide (CO) has no smell or taste, but it is a poisonous gas that can make you very ill and even kill you. According to the NHS
, every year 200
people go to hospital with suspected CO poisoning
, resulting in around 40 deaths. This week is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide
to help reduce these preventable deaths in future.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be caused by everyday household appliances including gas fires, water heaters, boilers, central heating systems, cookers and open fires which use gas, oil, coal and wood. Lots of people aren't aware of this, and don't suspect that faults with these appliances can be so dangerous.
Gavin Evans, Head of Industrial Disease at Simpson Millar
, explains why the elderly and students can be most at risk, and why landlords needs to take note of a new change in the law:
"Landlords need to be aware that since October 1st 2015, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
came into force, introducing new safety standards in residential properties when it comes to preventing death by carbon monoxide poisoning. The new regulations have entirely changed the obligations on landlords with respect to detecting carbon monoxide and it is hoped this new responsibility might also impress upon those letting properties
the importance of ensuring they are habitable and safe. Landlords need to be aware of these new regulations for the safety of their tenants. A breach of the guidance could have disastrous consequences so all steps should be taken to ensure no-one is put at any risk."
“Winter can often be a difficult time for many, but especially the elderly who tend to spend most of their time at home during this period and constantly have their heating on and their fires on the go. It is instrumental that they have their boiler serviced and their chimney swept. Vertigo
, confusion, memory loss
, fatigue, weakness, headaches, light-headedness and nausea are all symptoms of CO poisoning
, so any symptoms should not simply be attributed to ‘being old’
or ‘having the flu’
. It’s highly important that the elderly amongst us consult their GP should they be in any way in doubt. If they are in a rented property, they must ensure that an alarm has been securely fitted and is in working order as this is now required by the law.”
“Students could be at increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because the symptoms are similar to that of a hangover.
Symptoms can include headaches, light headedness, vertigo, confusion
, memory loss, fatigue
, weakness, nausea
and vomiting – they are initially quite similar to the effects of too much alcohol. Students, who typically go out socialising
quite often, may mistake carbon monoxide poisoning
for a bad hangover
. It is important that students know what their rights are! Under the new regulations introduced in October this year, landlords of all properties now need to have both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms installed to protect tenants. If the landlord didn’t install these alarms, students need to act now.”
Awareness Week Giveaway
Carbon Monoxide is difficult to detect and can make you and your family very unwell often without you being able to identify its cause.
Detectors or alarms will alert you to the presence of Carbon Monoxide in your home
and can help to protect you and your family.
This awareness week, we're holding a competition on our Twitter account @Simpson_millar to give away Carbon Monoxide detectors to the first 14 people
who share a special, specific tweet on our timeline. You can also search for tweets by us and others helping to raise awareness by looking up the hashtags #silentkiller and #COAware to name a couple.
Head over to our Twitter feed
and get involved!