The Gas Safety Trust have published a report, identifying carbon monoxide incident hotspots. The report ‘Carbon Monoxide Hotspot Report 2011’ shows where in the UK the highest figures of carbon monoxide poisoning incidents have occurred.
A shocking detail of the report reveals that during the period between July 2010 and July 2011 three times more fatalities were recorded due to carbon monoxide poisoning than for the previous 12 month period.
The Gas Safety Trust are urging householders to take the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning seriously. As many households turn their heating systems back on in October the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is rising. Flues and chimneys should be checked for blockages and gas appliances should have had a yearly service.
Last year there was a significant rise in incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning during December, which was the coldest December recorded for the last 100 years. And 72% of all incidents recorded last year occurred between October and March.
The report shows that less than half the people interviewed, 42%, owned a carbon monoxide alarm but it goes on to say that a shocking 60% of these people had not got round to installing it yet. Carbon monoxide alarms are very easy to install, just connect the battery and attach the alarm to either a wall or ceiling.
Matching the occurances with the size of the population the top hotspots are Devon, Somerset, Staffordshire, N.Ireland, Cheshire and Essex. Yorkshire and the Humber were reported to be the area with the highest carbon monoxide alarm ownership, with 47% of those living in this area owning a CO alarm. This might well be due to the large Warmzone projects, during which free CO alarms were handed out to residents in some of the major towns in Yorkshire. Safelincs took part in one of the projects, supplying 129,000 CO alarms to the residents of Kirklees.
Making a conscious decision and ensuring that you and your family are protected by having a working CO alarm could save lives. Consider, for example, buying a carbon monoxide alarm as a Christmas gift for your children who are living in rented student accommodation. Ensure you know what the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are and act on them. If you suspect that you are suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide call a registered gas engineer to check the levels of carbon monoxide and also seek medical advice from your GP if you suspect CO poisoning.
To view a selection of carbon monoxide alarms click on these links:
You can read the full report hear: http://www.gas-safety-trust.org.uk/carbon-monoxide-hotspot-report-2011