One in three people at risk of being poisoned in their home

One in three people at risk of being poisoned in their home
One in three people at risk of being poisoned in their home

Around 21 million people are at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK, new research has revealed.

As temperatures drop and people turn up their heating, new research from Energy UK’s ‘CO Be Alarmed!’ campaign reveals that one in three people in the UK are at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning as they don’t have a CO alarm in their home – despite nine in ten saying they are aware of the risk.

Carbon monoxide can be emitted from everyday household appliances, such as a poorly maintained or faulty boilers or gas cookers.

It is known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, which is why it is so important to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm installed.

An estimated 30 people die and a further 4,000 are hospitalised every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK. However, the true number is likely to be much higher as the symptoms can easily be mistaken for flu or tiredness.

Abbie Sampson, director of external affairs at Energy UK, said: “As people turn up their heating, it is worrying that one in three people don’t have a life-saving CO alarm which, for around £15, could protect them from this silent killer.

“Follow our simple ABC checklist to stay #COsafe – check you have an Alarm, test the Batteries and make sure you have had an up-to-date gas Check. And, if you are checking in on older relatives or neighbours, make sure you check that they have an audible CO alarm installed – it could save their life.”

The CO ‘Be Alarmed!’ campaign highlights some simple steps you can take to make sure you and your family stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter:

Buy and install an inexpensive carbon monoxide alarm – you can get them from DIY stores, high street shops and online – just make sure you check for the safety marks;

  • Like a fire alarm, check it regularly and make sure the batteries are working;
  • Just like your car, it’s important to have gas appliances, like your boiler and cooker, serviced regularly.
  • If you’re renting your landlord must ensure this done for you every year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer;
  • Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning – which include headaches, nausea and dizziness and similar to a common cold or the flu;
  • And finally make sure you have good ventilation from fires and stoves and if you have a chimney make sure it is swept once a year.

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