Pilot scheme targets the ‘silent killer’

CALDERDALE is included in a pilot scheme from Northern Gas Networks to reduce carbon monoxide poisoning.

The “silent killer” claims around 50 lives annually in the UK and causes hundreds more to be admitted to hospital suffering serious injuries and thousands with low-level poisoning.

Northern Gas Networks is investing £200,000 to test a detector that can pick up the presence of gas and carbon monoxide (CO).

If successful, the pilot will be extended into a £2.4 million scheme across the north.

Halifax, Todmorden and surrounding villages are included in the trial.

CO is not caused by a problem with the gas mains network. It is a by-product of a household appliance that is not burning fuel properly and the outcome can be fatal.

Although not responsible for its presence, Northern Gas Networks is committed to helping reduce CO-related incidents and said its pilot was a major step forward.

It is due to be completed in April and 40 engineers have been trained to test the new process. Northern Gas Networks’ Adam Stephenson, who is managing the pilot, said: “We are the first gas network to operate in this way and use this equipment on every reported gas escape.

“In addition, we can also check surrounding properties if we suspect CO may be present in an adjoining property.

“This is an important step in the fight against CO but it does not replace the actions people should take to protect themselves.

“It is vitally important that gas appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer, premises have a kite-marked CO alarm and people are familiar with the flu-like symptoms of CO exposure.”

If CO is detected during the pilot trial gas must be turned off for safety reasons and customers will be advised on organising an engineer to check their gas appliances.