The Department of Health estimates that 40 people are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, and at least 4,000 are treated in hospital, in the UK each year. Meanwhile research from the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign has found that 35 million households in the UK could be at risk of poisoning as they don’t have an alarm in their home which will warn them of the poisonous gas.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel such as gas, coal or wood doesn’t burn properly – usually because of a faulty boiler or other appliance or because ventilation has been blocked. The symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness and a loss of consciousness and it is often mistaken for a cold or flu.
The poisonous gas has no colour, taste or smell so the only way to be fully protected is to have a carbon monoxide alarm that makes a loud noise when the gas is present. They are widely available and cost around £15.
Supporting the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign, Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Many people don’t realise that they’re at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning as they have their heating on more often during the cold weather. Carbon monoxide can kill without any warning, but it is very easy to prevent.
“That’s why I am urging everyone in Tameside and Stockport to make sure they and their loved ones are protected by installing a carbon monoxide alarm.”