Carbon monoxide poisoning claims life of 6 year old girl
6 year old Elizabeth Giauque lived with her family in a rented house in Wimbledon. On 4 February 2005 her parents went out for the evening and left their 3 children in the care of the nanny. When they returned, they found Elizabeth unconscious in her bedroom. She was rushed to hospital where she sadly passed away 2 days later, as a result of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
4 days later, 2 other family members stayed overnight in Elizabeth's room and collapsed. They were rushed to hospital and tested positive to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The family home had been rented and it was subsequently discovered that the boiler in the property had not been serviced since January 2002. Following an inspection in January 2003, a Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate had been issued but this had already expired for more than 12 months prior to the tragic accident.
The owner of the property pleaded guilty to 2 counts under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, which included his failure to properly maintain the gas fitting in the property and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £35,000 in costs.
If you live in rented accommodation, your landlord has a duty to maintain gas appliances and it is illegal and highly dangerous not to have them checked regularly by a Corgi registered gas installer.
Your landlord should get your gas appliances checked every 12 months. If you know this is not the case you should contact them immediately and request that this be done. You could be at serious risk if an appliance becomes faulty.