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Last updated: 09/07/2018, 6:16 PM

Carbon monoxide incidents more than double in the capital

18/01/2018 00:00
Safety warnings

Carbon monoxide related incidents have more than doubled since 2009, according to new figures released today by the London Fire Brigade.

The figures show that in 2009, firefighters attended 207 carbon monoxide, or CO, related incidents, whereas in 2017 the Brigade was called out 569 times. The statistics also show that since 2009, 24 people died and 430 people were injured.

The Brigade is calling on people to fit carbon monoxide alarms in their homes, and for landlords to ensure that their rental properties have alarms fitted in all rooms that contain a  fuel burning appliance e.g gas boiler/cooker, paraffin heater or solid fuel fire burners. 

The Brigade is also advising that fire alarms be fitted in any room where a fire can start – a heat alarm in the kitchen, smoke alarms in the other rooms. 

Fit carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in your home and test them regularly

Homes need multiple smoke alarms and ideal spots for smoke alarms include rooms where you leave electrical equipment running like satellite boxes, computers or heaters; any room where you smoke, and anywhere you charge your mobile or laptop.

As a minimum you should have smoke alarms on every floor - in the hallways and the rooms you use the most. It is vital that people regularly test their smoke alarms once a month.

The Brigade is supporting Project SHOUT, which is a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. It says that almost 50 per cent of people renting a private property in the UK have not had a carbon monoxide alarm installed by their landlord.

Rise in carbon monoxide related incidents

Mark Hazelton, the Brigade’s Group Manager for Community Safety, said: “It’s shocking that the number of carbon monoxide incidents has risen so dramatically in recent years. We are urging everyone to install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where there’s a fuel burning appliance such as a paraffin heater, gas boiler/cooker or solid fuel fire.

“Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because you can neither smell nor see it and often it affects people whilst they’re asleep. If people don’t take steps to protect themselves, we will sadly see further increases in the number of people injured or killed in the capital in the coming months and years.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill quickly, you cannot taste, see or smell CO but the symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

Private landlords are legally required to fit smoke alarms on each floor of their rental properties and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms containing solid fuel burners or face a £5,000 fine.