Project SHOUT launches today

project-shoutProject SHOUT, a campaign to raise awareness of carbon monoxide (chemical symbol CO) poisoning, launches today, September 7th 2015. We are proud to support this initiative and help spread the word about the silent killer – carbon monoxide.

Here are some of the facts: Tragically around 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, 200 people require hospital treatment and a staggering 4000 people attend an A&E clinic with suspected CO poisoning. Yet there is still a lack of awareness of the dangers of CO.

How can we change these facts and figures? By spreading the awareness and knowledge that CO is a threat to anyone who has a fuel burning appliance in their home or lives in a home that is adjacent to a property with a fuel burning appliance.

CO is the result of ineffective burning of a carbon based fuel and it can leak into a home if flues are not working correctly or if, for example, gas burning appliances are faulty. Labelled as the silent killer carbon monoxide can not be detected by humans. It has no taste, smell or colour and can only be detected with the help of a carbon monoxide alarm.

Find out more about Project SHOUT. If you want to protect your family from the dangers of CO, take advantage of our special offer. For help and advice contact us on 0800 612 6537 or visit our carbon monoxide help pages.

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2015

chimneyOver 7000 emergencies attended by the fire brigade during 2013/14 were classified as chimney fires in the annual fire statistics report. Poor chimney maintenance is a known cause of domestic fires, most chimney fires are preventable.

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2015 takes place from the 7th until the 13th of September this year. The event is intended to highlight the causes of chimney fires and emphasise how to prevent a chimney fire from occurring in the first place. The most common causes of chimney fires are inappropriately sized or poorly installed appliances, blocked chimneys from soot or bird nests and the burning of unseasoned or wet wood.

The best way to protect your home is to have your chimney swept regularly. The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps recommends that people burning wood or coal on a regular basis should have their chimney swept quarterly, whereas those burning smokeless fuel, oil or gas should aim to have their chimneys swept at least once a year.

Infrequent sweeping of your chimney significantly increases the risk of a fire, and the consequences can be devastating and costly. Even a successfully extinguished chimney fire creates a great deal of mess and is a traumatic experience.

Whilst having your chimney swept regularly will greatly reduce the risk of fire, it is still important to have a means of alerting your family in case fire strikes. Chimney fires are often reported as creating a disconcerting low rumbling noise accompanied by cracking and popping from within the chimney. If you are awake, these signs are often enough to alert you to the problem, but if you are asleep, your family are much more vulnerable.

An interconnected system of smoke alarms will quickly detect any smoke released as a result of the chimney fire and raise the alarm across your entire household. Speed of detection is key, as a swift escape and notification of the fire brigade will greatly reduce the danger to your family and damage to your property.

Your regular chimney maintenance and smoke detection system should also be supplemented by a carbon monoxide detector. Poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) is created by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, coal & oil. If working properly, your chimney will draw the carbon monoxide away with the smoke. However, if your chimney is partially blocked, carbon monoxide can seep out into your home rather than being drawn away. Carbon monoxide cannot be tasted or smelled and has dangerous health implications, leading to many deaths every year in the UK.

A house fire as a consequence of a poorly maintained chimney is a terrible thought, and should be enough to motivate anyone to take steps to protect their home from the risk. Having your chimney swept regularly, ensuring your smoke alarm system is in good order, and installing a carbon monoxide detector will ensure that you are giving your family the best possible chance of avoiding the dangers and trauma of a chimney fire.

For further information contact our customer support team via support@safelincs.co.uk

Carbon Monoxide Danger on Holiday

Family vacationA recent ruling against a well-known holiday operator has again highlighted the very real dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning for holidaymakers. The heartbreaking death of two young children on vacation with their family in Corfu occurred in October 2006. The return to prominence of this terrible and avoidable tragedy serves as a potent reminder of the risks of carbon monoxide whether at home or abroad.
Whilst general awareness of the threat posed by CO is rising, sadly most people simply fail to consider the issue when travelling. At home you are personally able to ensure that fuel burning appliances have been installed correctly and that they have been adequately maintained, however on holiday we rely on those managing the holiday accommodation to do this for us. Carbon monoxide is often cited as the most common cause of accidental poisoning. Children, babies and pregnant women are especially vulnerable, but everyone should take steps to protect themselves against the dangers of this invisible, odourless and lethal gas.
At high levels of exposure, carbon monoxide can kill within minutes. Just a single night’s sleep in proximity to a faulty boiler can prove fatal. The faulty appliance need not even be in the same room, as, frighteningly, CO is capable of reaching life threatening levels even when seeping through walls from adjacent areas.
The only way to ensure you are protected against this danger is to carry a portable CO alarm when travelling, and ensure it is active when you sleep. You may find advice elsewhere stating that colour changing dot type indicators are suitable to take on holiday, but this is simply not the case. People are by far at their most vulnerable when asleep, and these types of indicators cannot wake you in the event of carbon monoxide reaching dangerous levels whilst you sleep.
For as little as £13.67, you can ensure your family is safe from carbon monoxide poisoning throughout your holiday. Please make sure you add a carbon monoxide detector to your holiday checklist. It may be the most important thing you take with you.
For further information about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the symptoms you should look out for, please visit our CO information website.

UK’s Chief Fire Officers and Safelincs launch new online fire safety shop

Chief Fire Officers AssociationCFOA, the Chief Fire Officers Association, through their subsidiary Blue Watch and in partnership with Safelincs, have launched a fire safety shop offering information and fire safety products for landlords, tenants and home owners. The site is a one-stop shop to allow residential users to select the products most suitable for their application, safe in the knowledge that the products have been carefully selected and are suitable for them. Each category of buyer has its own selection of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers to choose from.

The website will help increase fire safety awareness and raises funds for CFOA to allow it to promote its fire safety messages in an environment of government cutbacks.

Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director, Safelincs, commented: “I am very pleased Safelincs has been chosen by the CFOA to create and run the Blue Watch Shop website. It is a testament to our reputation and high level of customer satisfaction that such a prestigious organisation has entrusted us to manage its sales operations.”

The site will sell a selection of smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide alarms with Safelincs managing and fulfilling all orders on behalf of the CFOA.
Bluewatch Website

We have just made protecting yourself even more affordable

Kidde Smoke Alarm and CO Detector Special OffersNow that the heating season is truly under way it is time to review your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure you are fully protected. Smoke alarms and CO detectors should be tested once every half year but as a minimum one test per year should be carried out. To ensure that your alarms are not running out of battery power and to avoid that you get woken in the middle of the night by a low battery beep, alkaline batteries should preemptively changed once a year. The lifespan of your alarms also need checking. While smoke alarms are designed to last a full ten years, most CO detectors only last 5 to 7 years.

Any units that are out of date or fail their test need to be replaced. If you find any areas of the house that are not protected yet, you should consider purchasing new smoke and CO alarms to fill these blind spots. To make this more affordable, Safelincs, in partnership with Kidde Safety Europe, one of the leading manufacturers of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, have introduced two great special offers.

At entry level we are now offering a standard smoke alarm together with a 7 year life CO alarm for just £13.49+VAT.

To stop you having to purchase new alkaline batteries every year and to make sure you get the maximum life out of your alarms we are also offering a top of the range 10 year smoke alarm with sealed 10 year battery and a 10 year carbon monoxide detector with a sealed 10 year battery to give you maximum protection and convenience for only £27.49+VAT.

When you can protect your home and family for a decade at a cost of under £30.00 there really is no excuse for not taking action today!

We are also here to help you with your regular testing regime. We can remind you free of charge when your next test is due – at a test frequency chosen by you.

Kidde releases the UK’s first combined optical smoke and carbon monoxide detector – The Kidde 10DS.

kidde-10sco-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-detectorKidde Safety, one of the leading manufacturers of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, has recently released the UK’s first combined optical smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. The new alarm, which is powered by a single 9V battery instead of the usual 3 x AA cells, carries a 10 year warranty and features an ‘end-of-life’ warning to alert the user that the alarm has reached the end of its operating life.
Kidde have included several simple but clever features with the 10DS, such as a front mounted battery compartment which allows the battery to be replaced without removing the alarm and dual voice warnings of either ‘FIRE! FIRE!’ or ‘WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE’ depending on the danger detected.
The Kidde 10DS is also the first combined unit to be kitemarked for both the optical sensor and carbon monoxide sensor separately. Add in the test/reset/hush feature and the peak level memory function and you end up with a great all round alarm suitable for use in homes, holiday chalets, caravans and even boats, saving space and potentially lives.

Confusion between NG/LPG gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning

We get occasionally calls from customers worrying why their CO (carbon monoxide) alarm has not gone off when their house is smelling strongly of a gas leak from the gas supply system (eg if the pilot flame in a boiler has been extinguished).

A lady rung the other day, stating that the pilot light of her LPG heater had gone out, leaving unburned flammable gas leaking into the room. She had quickly identified the smell of the gas (due to the risk of explosion from flammable gases, the gas suppliers add odorant to their gas which adds a strong smell, allowing people to detect a gas leak swiftly). Our customer was worried, as she had expected that her CO alarm would also pick up this leak. This is, of course, a misconception. CO alarms only detect the poisonous, odourless by-products from burning processes called carbon monoxide (CO). CO gas is created when flammable gas is burned without enough oxygen. CO detectors cannot detect flammable gases.

Chemically, carbon monoxide and flammable gases from a piped or bottled gas supply are very different.

Carbon monoxide consist simply of two atoms: 1x carbon and 1x oxygen.

Flammable gases (methane, propane, butane being the most common) have larger structures:

methane (1 carbon, 4x hydrogen atoms)

propane (3x carbon, 8x hydrogen)

butane (4x carbon, 10x hydrogen)

If you wish to protect yourself against leaks of flammable, unburned gases, specialist gas detectors need to be purchased.

Coronation Street storyline helps save lives!

When Ian Story, a self-employed joiner from Cummersdale, near Carlisle, dropped in to see has godfather, Richard Pape, on Christmas Eve, the resulting conversation probably saved his life and those of his young family.

Richard works as a fire officer with the Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust, based at the Carleton Clinic, Carlisle, and regularly gives talks on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. He started telling Ian about the latest Coronation Street storyline about a carbon monoxide incident and it led to them discussing the importance of having a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.

Richard then decided to go ahead and order a CO alarm for his godson which was delivered a few days later.  About a week after that Ian came home from work and went to bed early feeling a little unwell. Later that evening as his partner Sara McManus was feeding his twin six month old daughters she noticed that the reading on the CO alarm was going up.

When it then started beeping she turned off all appliances in the house, shut down the wood burning stove and opened the downstairs windows. She reset the alarm and it started beeping again so the couple grabbed their girls and went across the road to Ian’s mother’s house.

A subsequent visit by a chimney sweep revealed that about one and a half inches of soot had built up all the way around the inside of the stove flue, which had prevented the gases from the fire escaping. Instead, it had been silently filling their home.

What to do if your carbon monoxide detector goes off:

  • Open the doors and windows to ventilate the area.
  • Turn off all fuel appliances where possible and stop using them
  • Evacuate the property immediately leaving the doors and windows open (make sure everybody is accounted for)
  • Call Gas Emergency Services: 0800 111 999

If you believe that the source of carbon monoxide is not a gas appliance, contact either:

Oftec (oil) – 0845 658 5080 or

HETAS (solid fuel) – 0845 634 5626*

  • Get medical help immediately for anyone suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning (headache, nausea), and advise that carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected.
  • Do not re-enter the property until it has been declared safe
  • If a faulty gas appliance has been identified call Gas Safe Register – 0800 408 5500 – who will give you names of registered engineers in your area. Or go to its website: www.gassaferegister.co.uk

 

*Many of the Fire Services in the UK have carbon monoxide testing equipment and can be called in emergencies

Gas Safety Week 10th – 16th September 2012

Gas Safety Week, co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, is a week-long event during which companies and organisations working within the industry promote gas safety.

Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, including natural gas, causes thousands of people every year to fall ill. It can be produced by faulty boilers, gas fires and cookers and, in the worst case, cause death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

As summer begins to fade and autumn takes its place, we start to switch on the central heating or light our fires. It is a good time of year to ensure that appliances are serviced and that chimneys and flues are swept. Carbon monoxide can be produced by an open coal or wood fire if the chimney is not drawing the smoke out of the room efficiently.

As symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to those of flu, it is possible for the presence of this gas to go undetected. If you have headaches and/or feelings of nausea and drowsiness, it may be due to the inhalation of carbon monoxide fumes. One of the simplest ways to protect yourself and your family is to install a carbon monoxide alarm in each room where there is a fossil fuel burning appliance. Carbon monoxide alarms sell for as little as £12.99 ex VAT . They will be triggered by the presence of carbon monoxide above 50ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere.

On hearing your carbon monoxide alarm sound, you should open all windows and turn off the appliances that use fossil fuel. If the appliance is a gas burning device, contact the gas board and inform them of the situation. They will be able to confirm if there is carbon monoxide present and advise you on what to do next. If you were using an open fire at the point of alarm, ensure that you have swept the chimney  before relighting it; if the alarm goes off again, you may need to contact your local builder to ensure that there are no problems with the integrity of your chimney.

Visit Carbonmonoxideinfo.co.uk for useful information on this gas, including real-life accounts of people’s experiences of it. To help prevent tragic deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning, please spread the message this week to family and friends; and, if you have elderly neighbours, check that they are looking after their appliances and suggest that they install carbon monoxide alarms, too.

Tragic death of father and two children due to carbon monoxide

The tragic death of Trevor Wallwork and his two children, Kim aged 12 and Harry aged 9 is thought to have been due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The three were found dead in the living room of their home in Co Silgo on December 18. It is thought that a crisp packet that had been put on the open fire was sucked up and blocked the chimney causing the deadly gas to seep into the room.

Their sad deaths highlight how dangerous carbon monoxide is. It is unthinkable that an innocent act of putting a crisp packet on an open fire could have such devastating consequences. If you are unsure what the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are or would like to find out more here is some information for you.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (chemical symbol: CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and toxic gas created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal and wood), as used in our everyday appliances such as heaters, engines and boilers.

Symptoms

The symptoms of mild Carbon Monoxide poisoning are similar to those of viral cold infections: headache, nausea, dizziness, sore throat and dry cough.

More severe poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, over-breathing (hyperventilation), confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Ultimately it leads to coma and death.

How to protect yourself and your family

  • Make sure rooms and heaters are well ventilated.
  • Have your chimneys and flues checked regularly.
  • Make sure boilers and heaters are maintained and serviced regularly.
  • A Carbon Monoxide Detector will measure the concentration of Carbon Monoxide in a room and sound an alarm if the CO concentration is higher than permitted (as indicated below)

Here is the full report  http://www.independent.ie/national-news/tragic-victims-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-returned-to-uk-2981516.html