Greater action required to tackle ‘silent killer’

Government urged to go further to protect tenants from carbon monoxide poisoning

Millions of people remain at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning six months after legislation aimed at protecting private tenants came into effect. The loophole means landlords in England do not have to fit a CO alarm in properties equipped with gas appliances. The legislation only covers trendy wood burners and other solid fuel appliances.

The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign is calling on Government to take action to extend the legislation to ensure all private tenants are protected.

Margaret Ferrier, Member of Parliament for Rutherglen and Hamilton, said:
“There cannot be a safety lottery across the UK when it comes to this silent killer. The Scottish Government has introduced legislation to ensure that all homes with fuel-burning appliances are equipped with carbon monoxide alarms, and this will doubtlessly save lives.I urge the Government at Westminster to do the same, and ensure south of the border, people are not living in danger from this hidden danger.”

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

“Carbon Monoxide can kill you without any warning. It has no colour, taste or smell – meaning it is impossible to detect without an alarm. Even at levels that don’t kill, carbon monoxide can cause lasting damage to your health.

“In England and Wales, around 40 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year and thousands more need hospital treatment. An audible carbon monoxide alarm is the only way to protect yourself and your family.

“We welcome the steps Government has already taken to protect tenants and are calling for further action to help save lives”.

Stacey Rodgers, mother and carbon monoxide awareness campaigner, said:

“In 2004, I experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. We were renting at the time and, as usual, I went to wake up my 10 year old son, Dominic, for school. I found him lying lifeless in his bed. He had been killed in his sleep by carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, which had leaked through my neighbour’s wall and into his bedroom.

“Dominic might still be alive today if I was aware of carbon monoxide and had an alarm. Since then I’ve campaigned tirelessly to prevent similar tragedies. Make sure you and your loved ones are protected by installing a working, audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home. It is not a risk worth taking.”

As carbon monoxide has no smell, colour or taste, installing an audible alarm that sounds when the gas is present is the only way to make sure you are protected. Without an audible alarm, carbon monoxide can seep through the wall of a neighbouring property and cause harmful long term health effects, and if undetected, even death.