Another tragic death due to carbon monoxide

This weekend the tragic death of a teenager occurred whilst she was camping with her family in Shropshire. The cause is thought to have been carbon monoxide poisoning. The other family members were found unconscious in the tent and taken to hospital.

The carbon monoxide poisoning is believed to have originated from the smouldering embers of a disposable BBQ, which was seen in the porch of their tent. Carbon monoxide can not be seen or smelt. It is paramount that in order to prevent tragic deaths like this, campers are made aware of the dangers of taking cooking equipment into tents for either cooking food or for warmth.

Camping in the UK is slowly changing, as the temperatures are remaining low longer and dropping at night. Anyone planning a camping holiday at this time of year should ensure that they have adequate bedding to keep warm at night and hat they have some form of outside cover to enable them to use BBQs and cookers a safe distance away from the tent, even when it is raining.

Taking a BBQ or cooker into a tent can cause the carbon monoxide to accumulate and linger even once the appliance has been removed. This can then render the occupants unconscious or even cause their death once they go to bed.

Our safety tips are simple: NEVER take a cooker or BBQ into your tent to cook food or as a source of warmth. ALWAYS cook a safe distance away from your tent to prevent any CO from being blown into your tent space.

Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and irregular heart rate. If you or any person in your tent has these symptoms, seek medical advice.

For more information about carbon monoxide visit www.carbonmonoxideinfo.co.uk

Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign 2011 launch

Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is the national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and to encourage people to install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in their homes. Funding is received through Britain’s six major gas and electricity companies and is also supported by a range of organisations and charities, including Safelincs Ltd.

This year has seen distressing reports in the media of several campers tragically dying from carbon monoxide poisoning in their tents. These unnecessary deaths highlight that many people are still not aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide or how carbon monoxide poisoning can occur. It is hoped that through the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign that these issues will be addressed and the number of deaths due to this poisonous gas will be reduced.  Shockingly, one in ten people do not even know that there are alarms available to detect carbon monoxide.

If you have any appliance in your home that uses a combustible fuel, such as a gas boiler, cooker or a wood burner, you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you do not have an alarm you will have no way of knowing if carbon monoxide is being leaked into your home. This gas has no colour,  odour or taste and the common symptoms experienced are very similar to a cold or flue (headaches, tiredness, dizziness and nausea) and therefore go undiagnosed. If there is a high level of carbon monoxide present you may be rendered unconscious in minutes.

In support of the Be Alarmed! campaign we are offering a Kidde carbon monoxide alarm at a reduced price of £14.99 inc VAT. This alarm has a 5  year warranty, test button and is battery operated.

To view a selection of carbon monoxide alarms available at Safelincs go to https://www.safelincs.co.uk/battery-operated-carbon-monoxide-detectors/

Batteries in smoke alarm could have saved lives of father and daughter

A 33 year old man and his six year old daughter died due to a chip pan fire in a house that had a smoke alarm fitted but had no batteries in it.

In April this year the bodies of Mr Andrew Lineton and Kay-Leigh, his six year old daughter, were discovered in their home in Telford.  An inquest in to their deaths concluded that an unattended chip pan had caught fire in the kitchen. The smoke alarm that was fitted did not have any batteries in it and therefore no warning of the fire was given.

The chip pan fire burnt itself out and the deaths were caused due to carbon monoxide poisoning. As carbon monoxide causes drowsiness and leads to unconsciousness Mr Lineton and his daughter were unaware of the fire and unable to evacuate the house.

These tragic deaths could have been prevented. Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm fitted and that you test it regularly. Never remove batteries from an alarm, even if it is sending out an annoying chirp to alert you of the need to replace batteries. Only remove the batteries when you have fresh ones to replace them with.

To read the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-15204778

 

Fire service issue reminder about carbon monoxide

After several devastating deaths over the summer reported to be due to carbon monoxide poisoning the fire brigade have again alerted the public to the dangers of carbon monoxide.

As we now enter the autumn months and evening temperatures start to drop people are beginning to start up their central heating and put their fires on. It is essential that after a prolonged period of not being used appliances are checked and flues are cleared from any blockages.

Gas boilers and fires should be serviced every year and homes with open fires or wood burning stoves should ensure that chimneys are swept annually too.  Failure to carry out these simple steps could result in carbon monoxide being present and occupants becoming unwell or even dying from carbon monoxide poisoning.

This warning comes after another case was highlighted where a woman was lucky to escape with her life, her two pet birds, however, were not so lucky and tragically died.

Ensure that the engineer who services your gas appliances is registered to do so. Ask to see his/her identification card or alternatively you can get information on who is Gas Safe registered from www.gassaferegister.co.uk/about/gas_safe_registered_engineers.aspx

To view the full report: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-15004315

Camping deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning

During July and August this year there have been several deaths reported due to carbon monoxide poisoning in tents. One particular tragic death was that of  a 35 year old woman, who was found dead next to her children aged seven and four and her husband. The children and husband were taken to hospital where they were later released, but it was said that they only just escaped with their lives. It is believed that the CO poisoning was due to carbon monoxide fumes entering the tent as a result of the barbecue being moved to the tent entrance to provide some warmth  for the family.

These devastating incidents could be avoided if the dangers of carbon monoxide were more widely known.

This summer the temperatures have not been very high and many campers are finding themselves unusually cold at night in their tents.  As there are no extra blankets available, many campers have started to bring camping BBQs or gas stoves into the tent to warm it up before going to sleep. Campers have also started to bring their BBQs into their tents to continue cooking due to it starting to rain.

Bringing gas or coal fired cooking appliances inside  tents and caravans fills the space quickly with carbon monoxide gas, a byproduct when burning a fossil fuel. The gas then renders the occupants unconscious and death can occur as a result.

Under no circumstances should gas or charcoal appliances be brought in or close to a tent. The carbon monoxide gas can linger inside the tent long after the appliance has been moved away. As the gas is odorless and colourless there is no way to detect if the gas is present. The gas makes the occupant drowsy and once in this state unable to respond to other warning signs such as headaches and nausea.

To read more on these tragic deaths: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026321/Mother-dies-camping-tragedy-Gyrn-Goch.html

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9156602.Warning_after_man_dies_in_gas_barbecue_tragedy/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-14051333

 

 

CO alarm saves life of singer Charlotte Church

After moving into her new home, Welsh singer Charlotte Church began to suffer from frequent headaches. She could not find an explanation for this and it was her grandfather who suggested that the possible cause could be a carbon monoxide leak.

Charlotte Church’s grandfather then installed a carbon monoxide alarm in the home of the singer and her two children, aged 2 and 3 years.

The Carbon Monoxide detector alerted them to the fact that the boiler was faulty and leaking carbon monoxide into the family’s home. This situation could have had fatal consequences, as there is no other way to be alerted to a carbon monoxide leak other than by a CO alarm, as the gas has no odour or colour.

Charlotte Church’s symptoms of headaches and generally feeling unwell are typical for early carbon monoxide poisoning. We offer more information on carbon monoxide.
To read the full story go to: http://music.aol.co.uk/2011/02/09/charlotte-church-gas-leak/

Carbon monoxide alarm alerts family

A Lincolnshire family escaped the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning thanks to the carbon monoxide alarm they had installed after moving into a listed Georgian  house.

The couple knew that the oil boiler that was in the property was old but after having it serviced they felt reassured that there was no possibility of the boiler malfunctioning.  Luckily some friends who had moved the previous year to find an aged boiler in place encouraged them to buy a carbon monoxide alarm. As a result they purchased a carbon monoxide alarm from Safelincs shortly after moving into their new home.

The alarm did not go off when first installed in the boiler room but as the weather got warmer the family turned the boiler off. There was then a drop in temperature and the boiler was turned on again to fire up the central heating. It was then that the alarm began to sound.

Above the boiler room was the bedroom of their youngest daughter and as carbon monoxide can seep through bricks and flooring, a potentially life threatening situation could have ensued had the carbon monoxide leak not been detected immediately.

Mrs G wrote, Thanks again for ‘saving our lives!’

‘Still working, but at the end of its serviceable life’, was the description the surveyor gave of the ancient oil-fired boiler in our newly bought Georgian house. Friends recommended that we install a Carbon Monoxide alarm and we were relieved when the alarm did not sound when the boiler was first switched on. We decided to keep the boiler while it was still working for our first Winter in the house. However, three months later we were woken by the loud sounding of the alarm and discovered that the boiler had started leaking Carbon Monoxide. We feel eternally grateful to our friends for making us aware of the silent killer in our midst and are now looking to replace the boiler as soon as possible.

Don’t leave detecting carbon monoxide to luck. Install a carbon monoxide alarm today.

Serious Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Gas-Powered Forklift

Hi-Tech Products Ltd in Swadlingcote, Derbyshire experienced serious problems with carbon monoxide poisoning on the 10th Feb 2011.

One Thursday lunchtime, four members of the factory started to feel unwell, with the office workers starting to feel ill as well minutes later. The company suspected some form of CO poisoning and rang the gas supplier who sent an engineer within one hour.

The engineer checked the back of the gas-powered forklift and a gas heater but could not find any trace of carbon monoxide. Despite not finding any carbon monoxide he still switched the mains gas supply to the heater off. The company continued to use the forklift truck.

The symptoms of CO poisoning got so bad that one lady had to be taken to A+E and a gentleman had to go to the health clinic. Everybody else felt nauseous. The following day staff felt a little better. To play safe the company bought a Kidde carbon monoxide detector which started alarming straight after its installation. To double check the result, the alarm was taken outside into fresh air where the detector stopped alarming. The alarm started again when the CO detector was taken back into the building.

The gas supplier was called back in and could still not find any carbon monoxide present. The company then organised another carbon monoxide detector from a different brand and again, the alarm was immediately triggered. As a result of this Hi-tech contacted the environmental department of the local council who arranged for the fire brigade to come out and measure the CO levels.

The fire brigade successfully detected the CO gas and narrowed the source down to the forklift where 1000ppm were measured. This level is highly dangerous in closed buidlings. Hi-tech immediately had the forklift serviced which reduced the output of carbon monoxide greatly but still did not get rid of all CO gas emissions.  If the roller doors to the factory are closed, the Kidde alarm will still go into alarm. The company temporarily resolved the problem by leaving the roller doors open during working hours and by installing another two CO alarms. Hi-tech are now considering changing to an electrical forklift truck. Since these measures were introduced no further health issues were reported.

EastEnders carbon monoxide poisoning

This week an EastEnders story line will be covering carbon monoxide poisoning. Single mum, Heather Trotter, will be discovered unconscious in her flat.

Heather knows that her boiler is faulty but can not afford to have it repaired. The boiler leaks carbon monoxide into the flat and leaves Heather fighting for her life. Did she know about the dangers of carbon monoxide?

This episode will hopefully raise the awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning and how it occurs. Carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete combustion of all fossil fuels. It has no odour or colour and as a result can go undetected. Even some GPs miss-diagnose the onset of carbon monoxide poisoning as flu as the symptoms are very similar.

Don’t risk your life like Heather Trotter, install a carbon monoxide alarm and investigate your fossil fuel appliances if you begin to feel unwell at home, with flu like symptons that get better when you are outside the house.

Carbon monoxide poisoning, how to diagnose this silent killer

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to that of a general cold or flu and as a result can not only be overlooked by the sufferer but can also result in a misdiagnosis by your GP.

The main symptoms suffered are headaches, nausea and vomiting, vertigo type symptoms, an alteration in consciousness and lethargy. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increase as the cold weather begins and fires and heating systems are put back into service after the summer.

There is one very significant factor to consider if you have any of the symptoms above but are unsure if it is a cold, flu or indeed due to carbon monoxide being present. The symptoms from carbon monoxide can subside and even disappear when you are not in the area where the carbon monoxide is present. You may notice that when you go out to the shops or to work that your symptoms are much better but shortly after returning home the symptoms increase again. Cold and flu symptoms usually last no longer than a week; if your symptoms continue after this period consider the possibility that it could be as a result of carbon monoxide.

If you suspect that your symptoms could be due to carbon monoxide, act swiftly. Alert your doctor of your suspicions, contact either your gas supplier if you have gas appliances or alternatively contact your local council who can advise you who you need to call. Carbon monoxide can be produced by the incomplete combustion of all fossil fuel, gas, oil, coal, coke and wood. Carbon monoxide alarms are also available which will alert you should the levels of carbon monoxide rise above acceptable levels.