Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign welcomes focus on silent killer

Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is urging people to protect themselves and their families from the silent killer this Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (16 – 22 November).

Recent research from the Carbon Monoxide- Be Alarmed! campaign indicated that people still did not understand how audible alarms worked, where to install them or how to maintain them.

Lawrence Slade from the Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign said:

“CO Be Alarmed supports any effort aiming to raise awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning. Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week plays an important role in highlighting the risks of this silent killer.

“New research suggests 30 million people in the UK could currently be at risk, so we are urging everyone to install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. It is the only effective way for people to protect themselves and their families.

“CO Be Alarmed will be giving away 50 CO alarms throughout the week via social media, so follow us on twitter @COBeAlarmed.”

The Department of Health estimates that at least 4,000 people are treated in hospital and 40 are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning each year, but the true figures are likely to be significantly higher*. In France, which has a similar population to the UK and where carbon monoxide is tested for during post mortems, the number of deaths attributed to carbon monoxide is far higher.

Notes to editors

  1. Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. The campaign is run by Energy UK on behalf of Britain’s major gas and electricity companies in partnership with the Dominic Rodgers Trust, and is supported by more than 40 other organisations.
  2. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance, such as a boiler or cooker, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.
  3. The research for Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! was carried out by OnePoll in October 2015, among 2,000 people across the United Kingdom.
  4. In France, the number of deaths attributed to carbon monoxide is far higher. Source: Gas Safety Trust, Carbon Monoxide Hotspot Report, 2010.