London Fire Brigade

Brigade backs Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week

10 November 2010

London Fire Brigade is backing Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week by urging people to invest in a carbon monoxide detector as well as a smoke alarm for their homes.

The Brigade was called to 30 incidents involving carbon monoxide last year – one of them a fatality and four where people had to be treated for the effects of this odourless and tasteless but poisonous gas.

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority member Cllr Darren Johnson said: “Since 2003 London Fire Brigade has fitted around 275,000 smoke alarms to help ensure Londoners have early warning if fire breaks out in their home. To protect themselves further we would also urge people to invest in a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, with least 50 deaths nationally recorded every year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Despite this, the majority of people still do not have a carbon monoxide detector in their home.

“We would also advise people to make sure that their gas heating systems are fitted, serviced and maintained by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by inhaling fumes from fuel burning appliances and flues that are not properly installed or maintained or that are poorly ventilated. Symptoms include mild headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week runs from 15 – 19 November and is organised by registered charity CO-Awareness which aims to educate the public about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

To find out more about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how you can protect yourself from them visit the CO-Awareness website at


Note to editors:

• London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority runs the London Fire Brigade
• Carbon monoxide detectors cost around £25 and should be approved to EN50291 standard.
• The responsibility for gas safety rests with the Health and Safety Executive and they discharge this responsibility through a body called Gas Safe. To work legally on gas appliances and installations you must be on the Gas Safe Register. For more information on getting Gas Safe Registered visit: