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Carbon Monoxide poisoning affecting more children

EE Gas hob burner

3:44pm 5th September 2017

There has been a rise in suspected cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in children.

Figures obtained by Project SHOUT show 520 have been reported at A&E departments in the last year alone.

That is up from just over 500 during the previous period.

The gas can be produced when appliances are poorly maintained or not fitted properly.

Too few doing basic checks

Research commissioned by Worcester Bosch shows too few of us are carrying out basic checks on appliances.

It reveals 27 per cent of homeowners do not get their boiler serviced every year.

36 per cent fail to check their carbon monoxied alarm every 12 months.

Adding to the risks people are taking, of those who do get their appliances checked, 34 per cent do not check the gas safe card of the engineer doing the work.

One mother's tragic story

10-year-old Dominic Rodgers died from carbon monoxide poisoning as he slept in 2004.

Since then, his mother Stacey has campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers.

She said that, at the time, she had no idea what carbon monoxide was or how dangerous it could be.

The last time she saw her son alive was when she kissed him goodnight. In the morning, he was dead.

Ms Rodgers said: "My initial thought when I touched him was that he was frozen. Then when I turned him over there was sick around his face.

"When the coroner said it was carbon monoxide poisoning, I thought: 'What's that?' I'd never heard of it before.'"

She now campaigns for CO detectors, which cost less than £20, to be in every home.

9 things you need to know

  1. Have all gas appliances in your property safety checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. As part of any safety check ensure that the engineer carries out a tightness test of the pipework to ensure there are no gas leaks, and a visual inspection of accessible gas pipework should also be completed to ensure the installation is in good condition.
  2. Find or check a Gas Safe registered engineer in your area using our online search or call us on 0800 408 5500.
  3. Make sure you ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card both front and back. The front will confirm their registration and identity, the back will confirm they can do the gas work you’ve employed them to do.
  4. Stay aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  5. Look out for warning signs that a gas appliance isn’t working properly – lazy yellow flames, excessive condensation and black marks/stains. However, bear in mind that an appliance can be unsafe without displaying these symptoms, so best practice is to have your appliances checked every year.
  6. Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm and install it (in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines) near to your gas appliance. Alarms are a strong second line of defence against carbon monoxide poisoning.
  7. Use gas appliances for their intended purposes only, e.g. do not use a cooker to heat a room.
  8. Provide enough ventilation for gas appliances to burn correctly and make sure no air vents or chimneys are blocked.
  9. If you know of anyone working outside of Gas Safe registration, they are breaking the law. You can report them to us online or contact us on the consumer helpline as above.

Source: Gas Safe Register

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