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Have you been poisoned by carbon monoxide? Or do you suspect you may have been poisoned?
We can give you free, confidential help and advice. The earlier you contact us, the better for you. If you might want proof of carbon monoxide, (if only for your family or GP), it is vital to preserve the evidence and appliances should not be touched, except to turn them off and perhaps disconnect .
You may want proof for a legal case. Please remember that if in doubt, it's better to preserve the evidence and decide what to do later. If you have been poisoned, you will not be at your best to work out what you want to do, until you recover.
Please email email@example.com ideally with your telephone number and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. We have lists of solicitors and can also advise you on someone to investigate the incident before the evidence has been changed.
ENERGY BILL - Going through Parliament at the moment.
We have drafted some amendments which we are still hoping that the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group* will put down in the Commons. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath has told us that he will table them in the Lords. Barry Sheerman MP (co-chair of the APPCOG*) has told us that he will put down the levy at the report stage of the Energy Bill in the Commons.
Suggested amendments for the Energy Bill
1.Raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and research.
A levy on the fuel industry to pay for publicity about the dangers of unintentional poisoning by carbon monoxide and/or other products of combustion and for research into the products of combustion from all fuels and for measures which could reduce deaths and injuries.
This levy must be set by the Secretary of State for Energy within three months of the date of passing of this bill. The Secretary of State must initially consult with the Secretaries of State for Health & DWP and review the levy from time to time with further consultations as the Secretary of State thinks fit. This levy must be paid by industry within three months of being set by the Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State for Energy must set up a body which is totally independent of the fuel industry to receive this levy within three months of the passing of this bill.
The Secretary of State for Energy is granted the power to make any secondary legislation that he considers is required under this Act.
In 2000 the HSC recommended a levy on the gas suppliers. Gas suppliers are easy to define and easy to reach through Ofgem. However, the gas suppliers objected to being singled out and although we have included the whole fuel industry, work on the definition of 'fuel industry' will have to be undertaken by a Parliamentary draftsman.
As for the amount of the levy, the suggestion is either £2 per household per year or its equivalent.
Suggested Statutory Instrument.
- The first payment of the levy will be made as soon as a suitable body is created by the Secretary of State to receive the levy and at any rate within 3 months.
- This trust will be under a duty to pay out the whole year’s fund on the objects in (c) and (d) below by the end of the thirteenth month following the receipt of the levy received in the first year and so on.
- The trust’s primary task is raising awareness of the dangers and the risk of dying or being injured from unintentional poisoning by carbon monoxide and/or other products of combustion amongst the general public.
- Funding from the levy must also be awarded by the trust for research into the products of combustion and for measures which could reduce deaths and injuries.
The board of trustees and its duties and powers
- The composition of the Board of Trustees shall be made up of an equal number of contrasting Industry and Consumer interests from those who have demonstrated a commitment to the issue safety with regard to the products of combustion in order to ensure balanced consideration of disposal of the said levy funds. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees shall be demonstrated to hold neither contrasting views nor interests within the Carbon Monoxide debate and shall act independently and will present the casting vote in the event of a tie in the voting intentions of the Board of Trustees with regards to the disposal of the said levy funds.
- This board of trustees must consist of at least five persons and not more than seven persons and become members of the trust. Trustees should be selected from those persons who have demonstrated an interest in saving lives and preserving health, ideally from the products of combustion.
- The chairman must be elected by the trustees every year. Apart from the election of the chairman, the chairman is to have a casting vote on all other matters.
- The trustees, other than the chairman, must be elected every year.
- Places on this board must be advertised in the press at least two months before selection.
- Expenses of the board will be paid out of the levy. The chairman will receive a salary and there will also be at least one full time paid administrator paid for by the levy. Other employees may be appointed at the discretion of the board.
Funding for publicity and other measures
1. The board must raise awareness by using the levy to pay for :-
(i) mainly prime time TV warnings (unless large parts of the general public can no longer be reached using this method), and also
(ii) digital media and
(iii) film making and
(iv) any other means that is judged by the trustees to be effective with regard to influencing large parts of the general public or those directly at risk of poisoning or professionals including medics, fire fighters, paramedics, health visitors social workers and environmental health officers or for any other measures that could be helpful in reducing deaths and injuries.
Funding for research
Research into the products of combustion includes
- Any measure that could increase knowledge about the dangers of the products of combustion and how to reduce unintentional deaths and injuries caused by such products.
- Research into how to reduce such products of combustion being either created or emitted into indoor or outdoor air from appliances powered by any carbon based fuel.
- Work to collect, collate and publish data of deaths and injuries from unintentional deaths and injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning and other products of combustion and for drawing conclusions from such data.
- Providing free help, advice and support for victims of poisoning from the products of combustion and their families, not merely to provide assistance but also to find out further details which may reduce further deaths or injuries or may lessen the impact of a death or injury.
- Medical research into the effects on the body of these products of combustion and the treatment of the symptoms and effects.
2. Gas Emergency Service
The employees of the gas emergency service who attend gas emergencies (called First Call Operatives):-
(a) Must be equipped with Personal Alarm Monitors for CO and
(b) Must carry and use equipment to test gas appliances for the products of combustion so that any appliance(s) emitting toxins can be identified.
Suggested Statutory Instrument
Testing of gas appliances for carbon monoxide
- If a First Call Operative (FCO) tests a gas appliance for carbon monoxide (CO) and finds CO being emitted from that appliance, the number of parts per million of CO found must be given in writing, including the date of testing, the name of the FCO testing and their Gas Safe Register number to the person occupying the property and also to the landlord or responsible person.
- Any appliance emitting CO should be cut off in accordance with usual procedure but must not be changed until the person who has been exposed or could have been exposed has been given time to consider their options, including legal action. Other than cutting off the appliance or supply to ensure safety, the appliance can only be changed or removed with the written permission of the person who has been exposed or could have been exposed.
- If, although gas appliances are tested for CO, no source of CO is found, other sources of CO should be considered, such as solid fuel appliances or leaks from another house or flat. If the FCO still considers there is any possibility of danger from CO, occupiers must be provided with at least one CO alarm to EN 50291.
'Provided with' does this mean 'given free' or not? How to deal with this? How about adding the cost to the gas bill?
3. Changing meters to smart meters.
To empower the Secretary of State to draft a statutory instrument to set out the procedure to be followed when replacing a meter or installing a smart meter to ensure that those undertaking the work are equipped with Personal Alarm Monitors for carbon monoxide for the protection of those undertaking the work and to introduce a test of the gas appliances for emissions of carbon monoxide both before and after the exchange of the meter for the protection of consumers.
Suggested Statutory Instrument
When a meter is changed the following procedure along with the normal procedure required by law the following must also be undertaken.
- All gas appliances must have their emissions tested for carbon monoxide (CO) using equipment suitable for this task and which can provide a written record of any parts per million of CO.
- If more CO is being emitted than is recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions, the number of parts per million of CO, recorded by the equipment in (a) above, must be given in writing to the occupier and to the responsible person.
- The occupier or person who has been exposed or could have been exposed must be allowed to have a reasonable time to consider their situation and take advice before the meter is changed. During this time the appliance should be cut off but not otherwise changed in any way.
- After the meter is changed, the gas appliances must be further tested and any parts per million of CO above that in the manufacturer’s instructions should be provided in writing to the occupier and the responsible person.
- As part of the meter exchange the engineer installing the meter must inform the consumer about the dangers of carbon monoxide, the importance of owning an audible carbon monoxide alarm to EN 50291 or it’s more modern equivalent and have appliances properly installed and regularly maintained by qualified operatives. The engineer must also explain the need to sweep and check chimneys and flues and the need for ventilation.
- Repeal Reg. 26 (10) of the Gas Safety (installation and Use Regulations) 1998. This prevents safeguards in Reg. 26 (8) applying in the case of disconnection of the gas supply or purging of gas or air from an appliance or its associated pipework or fittings.
4. Changing and simplifying the law on landlords
To empower the Secretary of State to amend the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Reg. 36.
Note At the moment there is confusion between the landlord’s specific duty to undertake a safety check and obtain a certificate with the landlord’s continuing duty to keep the landlord’s gas appliances in a safe condition.
The vital thing is to require a service or a test for CO with equipment to test for CO, rather than just a safety check and certificate and also a requirement to fit a CO alarm to EN 50291 (or modern equivalent) or check that an existing CO alarm has at least one year left to be in date.
Suggested Statutory Instrument
Proposed Change 'The person undertaking the check must either undertake a service according to manufacturer’s instructions or, following procedures outlined in BS7967 part 4 or modern equivalent), use a Flue Gas Analyser meeting EN50379 (or modern equivalent) to measure the combustion gasses for PPM (Parts Per Million) of CO and also the CO/CO2 ratio and make and keep a record of those measurements, provided they are within the specifications made by the manufacturer’s instructions, and given to the tenant as part of the safety certificate.
If those measurements referred to above are not within the manufacturer’s instructions, the measurements and particularly the parts per million of CO must be recorded and a written copy given to the tenant together with a notice in writing that a full service must be undertaken at the landlord's expense within 28 days. The tenant must be given an opportunity to seek advice with regard to any exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning, before a service is undertaken. Therefore the appliance must be cut off during this time. The measurements and notice must also be given to the landlord as soon as reasonably practicable.
After the service is completed, a record of the service and new measurements as referred to above must be made and kept and given to the tenant or occupier and the landlord as part of the safety certificate. Furthermore a CO alarm to EN 50291(or modern equivalent) must be fitted or checked to be working and in date for at least one year and a record of this made and kept and given to the tenant or occupier and the landlord and specified in the safety certificate.’
5. All holiday accommodation including hotels etc. to be included under the landlords’ law on gas safety.
To empower the Secretary of State to amend Regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to make it absolutely clear that the law on gas safety and landlords applies to all accommodation including accommodation taken for private or commercial use and for any length of time, however short.
6. The use of suitable equipment such as flue gas analysers (or modern equivalent) for the installation, commissioning or maintenance by registered gas installers is mandatory, where specified by the manufacturers’ instructions.
Note Because condensing boilers require the use of flue gas analysis on commissioning and servicing, this is happening anyway so this change would simply update the law to be carried out by registered gas installers on modern appliances.
7. To empower the Secretary of State to require that all registered gas installers must have public liability insurance.
Note This requires legislation to achieve. However, most registered gas installers already have this so it will not be a provision that causes a great deal of change or is unreasonably costly for most registered gas installers but would provide much needed relief to those who are negligently injured by an installer without such insurance, instead of such relief having to be provided by the State and therefore the taxpayer.
8. N. Irish law on Building Regulations and carbon monoxide– to be the same, or possibly better, in England and Wales.
Note The N. Irish legislation for Building Regulations requires the installation of CO alarms in new builds and with regard to new or replacement appliances not designed solely for cooking.
Perhaps the Building Regulations should state that whenever a new combustion appliance is fitted then whatever the fuel, a CO alarm to EN 50291 or modern equivalent, should be fitted in the same room.
9. To empower the Secretaries of State for Health, DWP, DECC and DCLG to undertake an inquiry with a view to bringing all fuels under the same or similar legal requirements as gas.
DANGER FROM STORAGE OF WOOD PELLETS
NEWS UPDATE: Girl Dies Of Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Campsite
A teenage girl who died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a campsite in Shropshire has been named locally as Hannah Thomas-Jones.
All four members of the family were found unconscious... Read more>>
Watch the Sky News report:
Read the same story covered by ITV News:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas, which can be emitted from any faulty heating or cooking appliance, petrol generator, or vehicle engine. CO can be emitted from any appliance burning carbon based fuel e.g. Gas (mains or bottled), solid fuel (coal, wood, etc) petrol, oil or paraffin etc.
CO cannot be sensed using human senses. Special equipment, such as a flue gas analyser, is needed to test appliances and/or the air in a room for CO. CO can poison in tiny amounts because it is taken up in preference to oxygen by the haemoglobin (the oxygen carrying part) in the blood.
Less than 2% of CO in the air can kill in two minutes (HSE website
http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/hid_circs/technical_osd/spc_tech_osd_30/spctecosd30.pdf at Para 74 Table 23 If you find it difficult to accesss this please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org asking for a copy of this document.).
For Symptoms of CO see 'About CO' on the left hand side of this home page.
Low level exposure of CO over a long period can cause brain and neurological damage.
People should also be aware that there are other toxins in fuels (mercury, manganese, nickel , benzene etc.). See under 'Other Toxins' (see on left hand side of this home page) and under 'Prevention' (also see on left of this home page) under 'Blood tests'. This are in tiny amounts but we suspect they may build up in the body over time.
Please note that urine tests are now available for these toxins which unlike CO, stay in the body for days, weeks, months and we suspect even years. NHS doesn't usually offer them but these can be undertaken privately at around £100 to £200.
References to documents on the Internet (for example from the Environmental Protection Agency of the USA) are on this website. Further more up to date information can be obtained from us direct. However, you are warned that no case seems yet to have been brought (or at least succeeded) with regard to fuel containing these other toxins. Also, proof of these other toxins in your body does not prove where or how you were exposed to them.
Please Donate or Volunteer to help us
'CO-Gas Safety is an independent registered charity run almost entirely by volunteers.
Company Number 3084435 |
Charity Number 104370
We have been lucky enough to have received grants from the Department of Health but due to the cut backs, now only have very bare costs for our schools poster competition to raise awareness of the dangers of CO.
We need funding to continue collecting data on deaths and injuries, which you can see in our press pack see http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/press_pack_2011.html which includes 15 years of our data (from 1995 - 2010).
Our data is the best data on CO deaths and injuries in the UK and has been used by Government see http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/1324663. We are shocked that our data is better than Government's (HSE basically only collects gas related CO deaths and doesn't check with Coroners) and other bodies (such as the well funded Gas Safe Charity and Gas Safety Trust). We try to check most deaths with Coroners and we have built up a good relationship with them over the 15 years we have been doing this. We also check with other bodies, such as the Solid Fuel Association, which has always been extremely helpful to us.
We also need funding to continue to answer the telephone and give advice to survivors and families of the bereaved.
Please feel free to send us a donation.
Our bank details are:-
|CO-Gas Safety Society
Or if you prefer, you could send us a cheque made out to "CO-Gas Safety"
2, Common Lane
Thank you very much indeed.
Stephanie Trotter, OBE, President & Director of CO-Gas Safety.
PLEASE VOLUNTEER TO HELP US
We always welcome contact from anyone who can help us in any way. We particularly welcome registered gas installers, but any help is very welcome. Tel. 01372 466135 or email us on
FREE Schools Poster Competition 2011/12 - Exciting prizes for you and your school!
Click here for details...
The aim of this poster competition is to raise awareness of the silent killer, carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it and thereby save lives and preserves health.
CO-Gas Safety had been lobbying for years for funding for prime time TV warnings (like the anti-smoking and fire warnings) but as there seemed no chance of this, Stephanie Trotter thought up the cost effective schools poster competition to raise awareness of pupils, their families and schools. The poster competition is for pupils in their last year of state primary school (Year 6, i.e. aged 10-11).
The competition is now in its FIFTH SUCCESSFUL YEAR. Read more...
|Multi-fuel fires/boilers - Have you had problems?
CO-Gas Safety has been receiving complaints about multi-fuel fires. We are not sure what the problem is and thought that you might help us by filling in this form.
Thank you very much indeed. If we receive many responses we will try to collate them and bring out a report.
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING ON BELLING & NEW WORLD COOKERS
If not used correctly, affected cookers can produce dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide which can cause serious injury or death.
DO YOU HAVE AN AFFECTED COOKER? CLICK HERE TO VIEW AFFECTED COOKERS.
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING ON LEISURE & FLAVEL GAS COOKERS
Serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning which can be fatal.
CHECK HERE TO SEE IF YOU OWN ONE OF THE AFFECTED COOKERS.
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING ON CAMPING GAS LAMPS
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SAD DEATH OF PAUL GRIFFITHS AGED 43 WHO DIED FROM CO FROM ONE OF THESE LAMPS IN 2009.
|You cannot see it, smell it or taste it but Carbon Monoxide (CO) can kill you. The elderly and young are at higher risk than healthy adults. They also spend more time at home..
>>Our film on how families' lives have been devastated by CO poisoning.
|As an extra safeguard, you can buy Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms in any good home/DIY store. Please ensure it is to EN50291. This standard of alarm should not cost more than £20.
>>How to prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
CO-Gas Safety publishes on this site an alphabetical list of recorded deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning since 1st September 1995.
>>The list of deaths
We are an independent registered charity with cross party support at the House of Commons and European parliament. we were founded by Molly Maher and Nigel Griffiths, MP.
>>More about the charity