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Press Release - Protect your family from carbon monoxide this winter
Posted on 24/11/2016

To mark Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week in the UK, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and Wales & West Utilities are working together to raise awareness of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to all local households.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place annually during the third week of November (21 – 25 November). It aims to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and reduce incidents, fatalities and ill health related to the poisonous gas.

Follow these five simple steps to keep you and your families safe from the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide.
The steps are:

• Get a CO alarm. Fit it correctly. Test it regularly.
• Get your gas appliances serviced regularly. Remember this should only by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer – it’s the law.
• Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: Headaches, dizziness, tiredness and confusion.
• Keep an eye on your gas appliances. Flames should be crisp and blue.
• Save the National Gas Emergency Service Number – 0800 111 999 – in your phone. Call it immediately if you smell gas or suspect CO poisoning.

The company has launched this potentially lifesaving information during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week so that people can keep those who are nearest and dearest to them safe from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Marc House, Community Safety Prevention Manager for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “Carbon Monoxide is potentially fatal and even low-levels of the poison can cause lasting damage to your health. It’s as vital to have a working Carbon Monoxide detector. The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are similar to having the ‘flu’. This can include nausea, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, stomach pains and chest pains.”
 
If you experience these symptoms but feel better when you are outside or away from the appliance, you could be suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

In the UK alone each year around 40 people die and over 4000 are injured as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency Service, Clive Book says: “With temperatures falling and people switching on their central heating or gas fires now is the time for people to take action to protect themselves from the dangers of carbon monoxide. It’s known as ‘the silent killer’ because you can’t see, smell or taste it and it kills 40 people a year across the UK while injuring thousands more

“Each year we make over 2,000 visits to properties where we find evidence of carbon monoxide – and put simply, following these steps could save you and your family’s lives.” 

And if you do suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, this is what to do:
• Turn appliances off
• Open doors and windows
• Get everyone outside into fresh air immediately
• Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
• And if there is a medical emergency, don’t delay, ‘phone 999
More information on carbon monoxide poisoning can be found on Wales & West Utilities’ website www.wwutilities.co.uk.

For more information on Carbon Monoxide please visit our webpage.


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