Research carried out by UK Charity, Consumer Safety International (CSI) reveals the high number of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning incidents in and around 2016.
The charity's findings included seventy (70) people being assessed for CO poisoning in Basildon, Essex in January. A Mayfair office block evacuated CO victims in April. Two paramedics were among five people rushed to hospital suffering from CO poisoning. A man was convicted of gross negligence/manslaughter of a mother and daughter on his boat in the Lake District. He is still permitted to continue working on gas installations.
CSI President, Molly Maher, said in a statement:
"Despite the number of meetings by CSI representatives in the UK discussing this serious problem with various bodies, our research shows no reduction on the number of CO Incidents. Our research also uncovered alarming, inadequate training requirements for UK gas engineers which can be achieved with 20 DA YS in a classroom; followed by multi-choice assessments, and if the candidates are successful, permitted to join the Gas Safe Register allowing each so-called engineer to work on gas installations and appliances. The course is approx. E5,OOO. Germany has a minimum 3 year training program."
Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas caused by incomplete combustion of any fossil fuel with less than 1% of CO in the air becoming fatal to humans in under three minutes. Known as the 'silent killer'; CO is odourless and invisible, it causes brain and organ damage which is irreversible. A Diplomat and his wife were tragically killed in Brussels from a barbeque they had taken indoors. These deaths followed another Diplomat and his wife who died in their Embassy residence in Brussels from a faulty gas heater in 2013. Molly Maher stated on Brexit:
"CSI will continue to work with ANEC and the European Commission in lobbying for all EU Standards to be adopted by the UK if any trade agreements between the two are reached. CSI have lobbied UK politicians for mandatory CO awareness in Schools, Colleges and Universities.
Awareness is essential for consumers in understanding the importance of good installations and 4.22-uaL-S.-em.c.lü-g Of gaseous appliances as opposed to relying on portable CO Detectors which can save lives. However, CO Detectors do not prevent chronic CO exposure due to their delayed activation time and parts-per-million (ppm) levels. Consumers who have their gaseous appliances annually serviced by properly trained engineers are preventing causation of CO as opposed to defending themselves against it. The lack of proper training and the all but abolished traditional apprenticeships of trainee engineers is horrendous. "
Molly lost her son, and her daughter suffered brain damage from CO poisoning in Tenerife in 1985 caused by a faulty gas boiler in a holiday apartment. She has since campaigned for better legislation in the UK and Europe.
"The media need to thoroughly investigate this serious issue to warn the public. Annual proper Servicing by a competent gas engineer is essential as a first priority. CO avoidable. The All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group reports "It is estimated the cost to the NHS is 2188 million in treatment annually but accurate figures are simply unknown."
Relevant Press Articles available on request
5th September 2016
Molly Maher, President of Consumer Safety International (CSI) – A charity committed to reducing accidents in domestic commercial and holiday accommodation, including their facilities, worldwide and provides advice and assistance to accident victims and their families.