This week is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, a campaign started by the charity CO Awareness to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
So far this year the deadly gas has been responsible for 47 deaths with a further 722 people hospitalised.
The charity was set up by Lynn Griffiths, herself a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning, to support those affected by CO poisoning and campaign for improved industry safety.
For over a decade from 1988 to 1999, Lynn and her family including four small children were exposed to the deadly gas due to a blocked chimney flue which had gone undetected.
Despite displaying the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, the symptoms went undiagnosed for many years leading to long-term health problems.
Plumbers, heating engineers and gas installers have a huge part to play in spreading the word to their customers and beyond. There are a number of things you can do to help:
- Update your website with the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week logo.
- Use the #COAwarenessWeek on social media.
- Remind your customers to book their annual boiler checks, appliance servicing and to make sure they have working CO2 alarms fitted.
- Talk to your customers about the dangers of CO2, what to look out for, safety measures to put in place.
- Carbon Monoxide Awareness has produced some useful leaflets that could be distributed to customers.
Know the signs
According to Gas Safe Register, the six major warning signs to look out for are:
- Loss of consciousness
Take action on CO2
These measures can help to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
- All carbon burning appliances and associated flues and chimneys should be installed and serviced by qualified and registered tradespeople.
- Additionally, appliances should be maintained and services in accordance with manufactures instructions.
- Chimneys should be swept regularly, at least twice a year for wood-burning stoves.
- Appliances, chimneys and flues should never be tampered with.
- Keep ventilation openings free from blockages.
- Fit a CO2 alarm in each room containing a carbon burning appliance and make sure both the battery and the sensor are regularly tested.
Being aware of these symptoms and preventative measures could literally be a life saver!
Education and awareness are key to preventing casualties caused by carbon monoxide and everyone can benefit from having a better understanding of the dangers presented by carbon monoxide.
Make sure your carbon monoxide awareness is up to date with one of our Gas Safety Awareness Courses.