Energy Bill

The Energy Bill is now an Act. Sadly we did not succeed in persuading the politicians to even debate the amendments which CO-Gas Safety wanted, were unanimously agreed on by the CO+Savi Group*, and were professionally drafted and put forward to the MPs on the Committee stage of the Bill, and the All Fuels Action Forum set up by the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group

However if you wish to read our professionally drafted clauses please see our professionally drafted suggestions click here.

These can always be used again.

It seems very odd to us that although CO-Gas Safety has been calling for prime time TV warnings since 1995 and although there have been recent warnings about smoking on prime time TV, there are still no prime time TV warnings about carbon monoxide which is obviously a much more unknown danger. Holiday Travel Watch which was a member of CO+Savi when the amendments were agreed, first wrote to the Cabinet office about the need for public information films in a letter dated 31.10.2012.

Baroness Finlay did succeed in obtaining some changes and is to be congratulated, see under Energy Act 2013 S. 150.

This will enable regulations to be drafted to require smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented property.

However, so far no regulations have been drafted and there is no information on whether all rented property will be covered or just privately rented property.

* The CO+Savi Group is a group of victims and victim groups set up under the All Fuels Action Forum (mainly industry) set up by the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group. The Katie Haines Memorial Trust kindly paid half for these amendments to be professionally drafted.


Update July 2013

See Hansard

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/130711-gc0001.htm#13071174000184

Update 04.07.13

Baroness Finlay put down some amendments in the committee stage of the Lords.

After Clause 132

BARONESS FINLAY OF LLANDAFF

51

Insert the following new Clause—

“Carbon monoxide detection

(1) The Secretary of State shall make regulations to provide that any person who undertakes work on a carbon burning appliance within a property shall ensure that—

(a) the premises is equipped with an appropriate carbon monoxide alarm, or

(b) in the absence of such an alarm system, the occupier or a person acting on behalf of the occupier is advised of the requirement to install such a system.

(2) The Secretary of State ensure that any person replacing or installing energy efficiency measures which alter the air tightness of a building, where a fuel burning appliance is situated, shall ensure that—

(a) the premises is equipped with an appropriate carbon monoxide alarm, or

(b) in the absence of such an alarm the occupier or a person acting on behalf of the occupier is advised of the requirement to install such a device.

(3) The Secretary of State shall make regulations to provide that—

(a) no person shall replace or install a meter or a smart meter in any premises unless he is equipped with a personal alarm monitor for detecting carbon monoxide gas;

(b) where a person replaces or installs a meter or a smart meter he shall ensure that—

(i) the premises is equipped with an appropriate carbon monoxide alarm, or

(ii) in the absence of such an alarm the occupier or a person acting on behalf of the occupier is advised of the requirement to install such a device.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1988, to ensure—

(a) the premises is fitted with an appropriate carbon monoxide alarm where any carbon burning appliance is in situ,

(b) at intervals of not more than 12 months check that alarm system to ensure it is fully functional,

(c) its power source is in good order for a further 12 months, and

(d) proof of purchase of any alarm is retained for the period of that alarm’s lifetime, as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.”

Update 04.06.13

Barry Sheerman MP did put down one amendment (the one on smart meters) and did speak about it on the 4th June 2013.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130604/debtext/130604-0003.htm#13060468002835

* Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): I want to push the Minister on that point. Will any of those documents address the opportunities for smart metering to play a role in the rapid reduction in energy use in domestic and other premises? Many of us believe that smart metering is the answer for a dramatic reduction. Moreover, the Minister will know that I have tabled new clause 16, which would require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors alongside smart meters. That would help reduce the 40 deaths and 4,000 admissions to A and E a year caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

We are seeking clarification about this because our amendment did not seek to install carbon monoxide detectors and we always call them alarms.

For amendments see

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0004/amend/pbc0040406m.268-274.html

Starts at 272 so scroll down to 272 – 275.

Mike Hancock MP (also a co-chair of APPCOG) did put down the amendment with regard to the levy. However, Mike has been ill and away from Parliament for about a year and no other MP spoke for the amendment.

CO-Gas Safety is grateful that two amendments were put down. However, the charity is disappointed by the failure to put down all the amendments and the lack of support by the other MPs, who are members of the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, particularly because all the MP members were sent our amendments and as far as we know, no MP objected to any of the amendments.

Background

CO-Gas Safety initially instructed and agreed to pay for a solicitor expert in drafting to put the suggested amendments in the correct form. Later this was co-funded by the Katie Haines Memorial Trust. These amendments have been sent to Barry Sheerman MP and all the MPs on the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group. Barry Sheerman MP has kindly said he will put down at least one amendment, the levy before the Report stage of the Energy Bill.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath is our patron and has also promised to at least put down the levy in the House of Lords

These amendments have been supported unanimously by CO+SAVi – group of victims, charities and other bodies as well as others from emergency medicine, ambulance and the fire service.

Summary of the amendments

1. Levy on fuel suppliers to pay for raising awareness, research and action. £2 per household per year would be ample. Compare over £100 for green energy.

2. Gas Emergency Service to carry and use equipment to test gas appliances for CO. Lord Hunt ‘This is a no brainer’.

3. Change in legislation re landlords to make it clearer that servicing or testing for CO must be done.

4. Testing appliances before and after exchange of meter. Please note that smart meters must be put in every home.

5. Public Liability Insurance for all registered gas installers, solid fuel and oil installers..

Suggested amendments to the Energy Bill

Athough obviously it;s too late for amendments to the Energy Bill 2013 it’s not too late to lobby for change in legislation.

Note

There were several stages:-

1. Agreement between the organisations and individuals on the sub group of the All Fuels Forum which works alongside (whatever that means) the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group. See Briefing Document for Don Foster MP, Minister for CLG below.

2. This document was sent to the MPs on the Committee stage of the Energy Bill.

3. The most important two amendments were drawn up by Stephanie Trotter and sent to all the MPs on the Committee stage of the Energy Bill on the 4th February.

If you agree with these amendments please lobby your MP. You can find out your MP by going onto the House of Commons website with your post code. Please try to see your MP about this vital issue. Thank you. Do contact us if you would like to do so office@co-gassafety.co.uk.

These amendments were drafted by David Mundy of Bircham Dyson Bell after instruction from Stephanie Trotter OBE CO-Gas Safety and consultation with members of CO+SAVi..

Funded half by CO-Gas Safety and half by the Katie Haines Memorial Trust.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

CONSIDERATION OF BILL

ENERGY BILL

Carbon Monoxide Safety Board

[   ]

To move the following Clause:—

(1) There shall be a Carbon Monoxide Safety Board.

(2) The Carbon Monoxide Safety Board shall consist of a chairperson and six other members of whom—

(a) the chairperson shall be a person appointed by the Secretary of State who the Secretary of State is satisfied has no interest connected with carbon monoxide which might hinder them from discharging their function as a member of the Board in an impartial manner;

(b) three members shall be appointed by industry; and

(c) three members shall be appointed by appropriate consumer safety groups.

(3) All members of the Board shall hold office for twelve months following which period they shall be eligible for reappointment for a maximum of two further terms.

(4) The Board may pay the chairperson such remuneration and to any member of the Board, travelling, subsistence and other allowances at such rates as the Board may with the approval of the [Secretary of State] determine.

(5) The Board shall employ an administrator on such terms as to remuneration, pensions or otherwise as the Board may determine.

(6) The Board may appoint such other officers, servants and agents on such terms as to remuneration, pensions or otherwise as the Board may determine.

(7) The chairperson is to have a casting vote on all matters for decision by the Board.

(8) The Board may regulate their own procedure and make standing orders governing the conduct of their business.’.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

CONSIDERATION OF BILL

ENERGY BILL

Carbon Monoxide Safety levy

[   ]

To move the following Clause:—

‘(1) There shall be a Carbon Monoxide Safety levy.

(2) The Carbon Monoxide Safety levy is a levy—

(a)  charged in respect of supplies of fuel that have been, or are expected to be, made in each specified period, and

(b)  payable in respect of each such period by persons who make, or are expected to make, the supplies.

(3) In subsection (2) fuel includes gas, solid fuel, heating oil, paraffin and barbeque fuel.

(4) The Secretary of State may from time to time by order specify the rate of the levy to be charged.

(5) The order may, in particular, make provision about any of the following matters—

(a) what is a supply of fuel for the purposes of the levy;

(b) when a supply of fuel is, or is expected to be, made for those purposes;

(c) who makes, or is expected to make, a supply of fuel for those purposes;

(d) the rates or amounts of the levy, or how such rates or amounts are to be determined;

(e) payment of the levy, including deadlines for payment in respect of each period and interest in respect of late payment;

(f) administration of the levy;

(g) audit of information (whether by the administrator of the levy or a third party) including requirements for audits to be paid by the person whose information is subject to the audit;

(h) provision of information, including its provision to third parties in specified circumstances;

(i) enforcement of the levy;

(j) insolvency of persons liable to pay the levy;

(k) reviews and appeals; and

(l) the functions of the Carbon Monoxide Safety Board in connection with the levy.

(6) The administrator of the levy, in the case of persons who make, or are expected to make, supplies of fuel in Great Britain, is the Carbon Monoxide Safety Board.

(7) In a case where a person liable to pay the levy has made any overpayment or underpayment (whether arising because an estimate turns out to be wrong or otherwise), provision under subsection (5)(e) may require the amount of the overpayment or underpayment (including interest) to be set off against, or added to, any subsequent liability of the person to pay the levy.

(8) Provision under subsection (5)(i) may include provision for the imposition of penalties if a requirement in respect of the levy is breached (whether financial or not, but not including the creation of criminal offences).’.

 

HOUSE OF COMMONS

CONSIDERATION OF BILL

ENERGY BILL

Use of levy payments

[   ]

To move the following Clause:—

(1) Amounts payable in respect of the Carbon Monoxide Safety levy are to be paid to the Carbon Monoxide Safety Board.

(2) Subject to section 127(5) and (6) amounts paid to the Board may be used only—

(a) for the purpose of raising awareness among the general public of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the risk of injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning and other combustion products;

(b) for research into the products of combustion and the consequences on the health of those exposed to products of combustion with the aim of developing measures to reduce deaths and injuries; and

(c) for measures, which in the opinion of the Board are likely to reduce deaths and injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning and other combustion products or assist victims, their families, friends and colleagues.

(3) The order may contain further provision about—

(a) the time by which the Board must [spend] the funds paid under the Carbon Monoxide Safety levy for the purposes set out in subsection (2); and

(b) the manner in which any such payments are to be made.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) are subject to subsections (5) to (7).

(5) The order may provide for amounts received by the Board under subsection (1) to be used by the administrator to make payments into the Consolidated Fund in respect of costs (or a proportion of costs) which have been or are expected to be incurred by the Secretary of State, in connection with the performance of functions conferred by or under sections 128 and 129.

(6) The order may prevent the Board using amounts to make payments in respect of costs of a specified description.

(7) In this section “the order”, means any order made under section 128(3).’.
HOUSE OF COMMONS

CONSIDERATION OF BILL

ENERGY BILL

Gas Emergency Service

[   ]

To move the following Clause:—

(1) The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Health and Safety Executive, shall make regulations to provide that where following an escape of gas or fuel from any pipe of a gas or fuel supplier or from any pipe, gas or fuel fitting, gas or fuel storage vessel or appliance, the employee of the supplier of the gas dealing with the escape (the First Call Operative) shall—

(a) be equipped with a personal alarm monitor for the detection of carbon monoxide gas;

(b) carry out tests to detect the escape or emission of carbon monoxide gas from any pipe, fitting, vessel or appliance or other likely source;

(c) provide firstly to the occupier or the person potentially exposed to carbon monoxide and secondly to the person responsible a record of the tests including the parts per million of carbon monoxide found if any, in writing, including the date of the test, the name of the First Call Operative and their Gas Safe Register number or relevant OFTEC / HETAS equivalent and the postal address of the property;

(d) subject to subsection (2) below, take all reasonable steps for the prevention of further emissions. This includes emergency provision of a carbon monoxide alarm certified to EN 50291 or its equivalent successor certification; and

(e) report fully to the person occupying the property, the landlord or the person responsible for the premises as the case requires including making recommendations including the use of CO alarms certified to EN 50291 standard or its equivalent successor certification.

(2) The regulations shall provide that once an escape of gas or fuel or carbon monoxide has been stopped by shutting off the supply to the premises or otherwise, no pipe, fitting, vessel or appliance shall be changed or removed without the prior written permission of the person who has, or may have been, exposed to carbon monoxide to enable that person to consider the appropriate steps (including steps relating to legal action) to take.’

HOUSE OF COMMONS

CONSIDERATION OF BILL

ENERGY BILL

Installation and replacement of meters to provide for CO safety

[   ]

To move the following Clause:—

‘(1) The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Health and Safety Executive, shall make regulations to provide as follows—

(a) no person shall replace or install a meter or a smart meter in any premises unless he is equipped with a personal alarm monitor for detecting carbon monoxide gas;

(b) where a person replaces or installs a meter or a smart meter he shall ensure that—

all gas appliances in the premises are adequately tested for emissions of carbon monoxide gas using equipment suitable for detecting and recording parts per million of carbon monoxide; Where appliances cannot be tested using a flue gas analyser, the occupier and any person who could have been exposed, should be made aware of the dangers of using that appliance and a spillage test must be carried out and a test of the ambient air after use for 30 minutes which should not exceed the WHO guidelines for 24 hour exposure.

(ii) a record of these tests is provided firstly to the occupier and any person who could have been exposed and secondly to the person responsible in writing including the parts per million of carbon monoxide found if any, the date of the test, the name of the First Call Operative and their Gas Safe Register number or relevant OFTEC / HETAS equivalent and the postal address of the property;

(iii) before any changes are made to an appliance etc or any appliance is removed, an opportunity must be afforded to those potentially exposed to carbon monoxide gas to consider their rights of redress including legal redress;

(iv) immediately following installation the appliances are adequately tested to verify that there are no dangerous emissions of carbon monoxide gas;

(v) the manufacturer’s instructions are provided to the occupier and any person responsible; and

(vi) the occupier and any person responsible are advised to fit an audible alarm system certified to EN 50291 standard or its equivalent successor certification and of the importance of proper and regular maintenance;

(c) regulation 26(10) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (which removes safeguards in circumstances of disconnection or purging of gas or air from an appliance) is hereby repealed;

(d) all registered gas installers are required to take out and maintain public liability insurance with an authorised insurer.’.

(e) Installers of oil and solid fuel appliances are required to take out and maintain public liability insurance with an authorised insurer.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

CONSIDERATION OF BILL

ENERGY BILL

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

[   ]

To move the following Clause:—

‘(1) The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 are amended as follows—

(a) after paragraph (9) of Regulation 36 insert—

“(9A) Subject to paragraph 9B and 9A(i), a safety check carried out pursuant to paragraph (3) above shall be followed by a service according to the manufacturer’s instructions or in accordance with procedures set out in BS 7967, Part 4 (or its equivalent) and shall include the use of a flue gas analyser meeting EN 50379 standard (or its equivalent) to measure carbon monoxide gas in parts per million and the CO/CO2ratio.

(9 A (i))

Where appliances cannot be tested using a flue gas analyser the responsible person (landlord) and the tenant should be made aware of the dangers of using that appliance and a spillage test must be carried out and a test of the ambient air after use for 30 minutes which should not exceed the WHO guidelines for 24 hour exposure.’

(9B) A copy of any test which finds carbon monoxide gas or the ratio which is not in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions (or a failed spillage test or CO exceeding the WHO guidelines for 24 hour exposure) shall be given in writing including the parts per million of carbon monoxide found, the date of the test, the name of the registered gas installer, their Gas Safe Register number and the postal address of the property;

(9C) Where carbon monoxide gas is found above that recommended or approved by the HSE or where the carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide ratio is above that recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions,  or a failed spillage test or CO exceeding the WHO guidelines for 24 hour exposure, the tenant shall be given a reasonable time to consider any steps he might take with regard to such exposure before there is any change made to the possible evidence that might be relevant other than the turning off or disconnecting an appliance.

(9D) A copy of the record of the service made pursuant to paragraph (9A) shall be given to the tenant of premises to which the record relates and to any new tenant of premises to which the record relates before that tenant occupies those premises.”

(b) after paragraph (12) of Regulation 36 insert—

“(12A) For the avoidance of doubt the duties on landlords in respect of maintenance set out in this Regulation 36 extend to premises occupied for holiday accommodation including hotels.”.’.

he following document was handed to Don Foster MP, Minister for the CLG on the 18th December. Briefing document, for Don Foster MP, Minister for CLG, suggested changes to the Energy Bill and supporting evidence

Carbon monoxide (CO) can be emitted from any faulty cooking or heating appliance powered by a carbon based fuel such as gas, petrol, oil, coal, wood etc. CO cannot be sensed using human senses. Less that 2% of CO can kill in between one and three minutes (see HSE website Para 74 Table 23 at http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/hid_circs/technical_osd/spc_tech_osd_30/spctecosd30.pdf)

According to DoH figures (only for England & Wales) 50 people per year have died from CO and about 4,000 people per year have been taken to A & E.

The majority of those who have discovered that they have been poisoned have never attended A & E and are thus excluded from official figures. Indeed the numbers get worse when you take into account that fact that the overwhelming majority of people poisoned by fossil fuel combustion are completely unaware that they are being poisoned or have been poisoned in the past.

CO-Gas Safety is an independent registered charity, run by volunteers. It was launched in 1995. We talked to victims and their families and quickly concluded that the main reason there were unintentional deaths and injuries was that people didn’t even know CO existed, let alone how to prevent it. In 1995 CO-Gas Safety suggested a levy to raise awareness of the dangers of CO. We also suggested that the gas emergency service carry and use equipment to test gas appliances for CO.

The cost per year of these deaths and injuries in England & Wales alone is * £149,850,000 (see Appendix A, cost benefit analysis based on DoH figures). Multiply this cost per year by the 18 years that have elapsed since we started to lobby for this levy and 900 people have lost their lives and the cost to the taxpayer has been* £2,697,300,000 so far.

CO-Gas Safety (www.co-gassafety.co.uk) has drafted the following with suggestions from the Katie Haines Memorial Trust and others such as Mark Pratten of the Fire Service and HTW (HolidayTravelWatch) and the support of the Dominic Rodgers Trust. These bodies hope that the APPCOG will put these amendments forward.

  • A small levy on the whole fuel industry, (ideally including the manufacturers etc.) , to pay for raising awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and other gas dangers and for the prevention of unintentional deaths and injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning and other gas dangers and for research and to be used for general improvements to fuel safety.

The issue here is who would hold the funds and provide them. CO-Gas Safety suggests a board appointed by the committee for judicial appointments to avoid bias. We further suggest that this board should be under a duty to pay out the whole year’s fund to improve gas safety by the end of the twelfth month following the receipt of the levy received in the first year and so on.

A levy of a mere £2 per household per year would provide £44 million per year. The green levy to be brought in by the Energy Bill is over £100 per household per year.

Please note that a levy on the gas suppliers only, to raise awareness of the dangers of CO and for research was recommended by the Health & Safety Commission (now Executive) in 2000 after an exhaustive gas safety review and with support of the majority of the stakeholders, who were mainly industry. So why wasn’t this implemented? We have since learned that the HSE didn’t even press for legislation for this. See letter from the Cabinet office, (see letter at Appendix B). HTW suggests also charging the levy to commercial premises such as hotels, clubs, cottages etc.

This levy could then cover:-

  • Paying for prime time TV warnings (via Public Information Films etc) although the Cabinet Office has responsibility to secure free air time and technical assistance from the media companies. However, the fuel industry is immensely wealthy. There needs to be many films to cover different scenarios, e.g. all the fuels, from gas to barbecues and all the premises, from houses to tents & vehicles etc.

HTW has noted that the Cabinet Office & OFCOM are failing to comply with their own response times; HTW will be chasing this matter according to their own protocols.

  • Raising awareness of the dangers of CO via other digital means.
  • Developing and adopting a protocol re CO events (ideally use protocol developed by Mark Pratten of the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Prevention Team).
  • Improving knowledge amongst GPs’ surgeries and A & E departments. At the moment GPs are not good at diagnosing CO. The late Dr. John Henry sent 200 GPs symptoms of CO and although many sensible suggestions were made, not a single GP suggested CO and see recent incident in Appendix C.
  • Improving the protocol and equipment to monitor for CO used by the Ambulance service. HTW supports use of creating a pre and during protocol which could be extended to all emergency services.
  • Undertaking research including other toxins found alongside Carbon Monoxide;
  • Collecting, collating and publishing data.
  • Improving training of gas installers. No agreed training material on CO for aspiring registered gas installers. Death of registered gas installer from CO in 2010.
  • Assisting victims and their families.
  • Encouraging the manufacture and fitting of cut off devices in appliances and heating systems so that if oxygen is reduced or CO is sensed, the appliance or system automatically shuts down.
  • Funding other initiatives to improve gas safety generally including at risk/immediately dangerous, involving registered gas installers in gas safety, automatic testing of bodies on death, prominent warnings on barbecues, campsites and generators, work under the green deal and including CO in the home safety module of the Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum, etc.
  • Gas emergency service must carry and use equipment to test appliances and air for CO.

Also recommended by HSC in 2000 with support of the majority of the stakeholders but not implemented. Legislation will be required but we appreciate that the gas emergency service will need help to do this properly and the levy is the obvious source of funding for this. Ideally records ought to be made and kept of what happens after an appliance is cut off to ‘square the circle’.

  • Smart meters – use this opportunity to test appliances and air for CO before and after fitting the smart meter.

The opportunity to enter all homes with gas is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This last happened with the change over from town gas to natural gas in the 1970s. Again this will need funding. If an appliance is found to be emitting huge amounts of CO before the meter is changed, the person affected, (who may have lost job, house & spouse) should be offered the opportunity to consider their position before the situation is changed.

  • Change to landlords’ law, The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Reg. 36. At the moment there is confusion between the landlord’s duty to undertake a safety check and obtain a certificate and the continuing duty to keep the landlord’s gas appliances in a safe condition.

There are different possible ways of doing this but 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 check that an existing CO alarm has at least one year left to be in date.

Proposed Change ‘Person undertaking the check must either undertake a service according to manufacturer’s instructions or, following procedures outlined in BS7967 part 4), 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 recommendations made by the manufacturer, and given to the tenant as part of the safety certificate.

If the measurements are not within the specifications made by the manufacturer, the measurements 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 possible.

After the service is completed, a record of the service and new measurements must be made and kept and given to the tenant and the landlord as part of the safety certificate. Furthermore a CO alarm to EN 50291 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 and landlord and specified in the safety certificate.’

  • All holiday accommodation including hotels etc. to be included under the landlords’ law on gas safety.

This will have to be drafted separately because a night’s stay at a hotel etc. does not constitute a tenancy with a landlord and tenant. HTW are of the view that the holiday accommodation point must be carefully defined to ensure that all private and company lets/hire/rent etc are captured by this requirement.

  • Make mandatory the use of flue gas analysers (or modern equivalent) for installation, commissioning and maintenance by registered gas installers where specified by the manufacturers’ instructions.

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.

  •  N. Irish law – to be the same in England and Wales. Query Scotland which is consulting on this topic.

This should be fairly easy to obtain. It is surely difficult to argue that while N. Ireland has this safety measure and possibly Scotland too, England and Wales will be denied it. However, this will take some years to work through as houses are built and appliances changed. Meanwhile the most dangerous appliances will continue to be threaten life and health while the public is not even warned of the existence of CO.

8.  Registered gas installers must have public liability insurance.

These needs a change in the law to achieve this but will affect few installers (as most have PLI) so should be fairly easy to obtain. HTW wholeheartedly supports this sensible proposal.

  • Government to consult on changing the law and bringing all fuels under the same or similar rules as gas.

Appendix A

Cost benefit analysis of a modest levy

A levy would save funds or even produce surplus funds, because the cost of each sudden death is £1,565,000 and reportable* injuries £17,900. These are HSE figures for 2010/11 see http://www.hse.gov.uk/economics/eauappraisal.htm

The Fuel Safety Levy, even at £2 per annum should bring in at least £44 million per year to be spent on safety improvements. There would be some costs involved in raising a levy but these are likely to be small.

DH statistics released Autumn 2011 are 50 deaths and 4,000 to A & E each year in England and Wales See http://gp.dh.gov.uk/2011/09/27/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-alert/

Costs then just of England and Wales are:-

50 deaths at £1,565,000…………………….£78,250,000

4,000 near misses at £17,900………………£71,600,000

Total…………………………………………..£149,850,000

The DOH figures above do not include N. Ireland or Scotland. Many CO deaths in Scotland are not recorded properly even by CO-Gas Safety because there is no coronial system there.

*All CO incidents are reportable under RIDDOR.

Appendix B Please see line in bold and underlined by CO-Gas Safety.

CCU Ref: DWOE283024/GM

24 September 2012

Stephanie Trotter OBE

office@co-gassafety.co.uk

Dear Mrs Trotter,

Thank you for your email of 20 August to the Cabinet Office about a proposed levy on gas suppliers to fund carbon monoxide (CO) safety awareness. It has been passed to Defra and I have been asked to reply.

As you mention, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommended a gas levy, mainly to fund consumer awareness campaigns, in its Fundamental Review of Gas Safety in 2000. Approaches have changed since then and colleagues at HSE confirm that it does not envisage such a levy as viable at present.

To introduce the levy would have required primary legislation, which HSE opted not to pursue. HSE did, however, pursue voluntary agreements with the six biggest gas suppliers to fund a national gas safety strategy that would include publicity about the dangers of CO poisoning.

Following on from this and the findings of its 2006 Review of Domestic Gas Safety, HSE established the Gas Safe Register, which is solely focused on consumer gas safety. Capita, which operates the scheme, is required to increase consumer awareness of gas safety risks and is monitored by HSE through a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure that improvements are made. The KPIs focus on ensuring gas safety awareness among all gas consumers as well as raising awareness among less aware groups, such as the elderly and students. There are contractual and financial implications if the KPI targets are not achieved.

Yours sincerely,

George Mackie

Customer Contact Unit

Defra

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only. If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,

store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.

Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked<br>for known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems.

Communications on Defra’s computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.

Appendix C – Recent report posted 16th December 2012 showing that GPs don’t diagnose CO.

http://en.paperblog.com/carbon-monoxide-poisoningthe-gp-told-me-it-wasnt-378811/ Carbon Monoxide Poisoning;  Reproduced by kind permission of Therealsupermum

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; The GP Told Me It Wasnt

Posted on the 16 December 2012 by Therealsupermum

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning;The GP Told Me It Wasnt – A Mum Shares Her Frightening Story

At 10 weeks my baby girl had become very poorly, constantly being violently sick and always sleeping (nothing unusual for a young baby), if she wasn’t sleeping she was screaming, losing weight rather quickly. Back and forth to the doctors and my Health Visitor and I were reassured my baby just had reflux, I was given 2 prescribed medicines that didn’t seem to help.

The only thing that would stop her being sick is when she was out the house, she wouldn’t be as poorly.

At 13 weeks on the 7th January our baby was in her bouncer in the front room (we had a very small front room and that was the warmest room in the house). I took her out to change her clothes as yet again she’d been sick after I had breast fed her, something caught my eye on the gas fireplace which alarmed me straight away, it was hissing and just looked different.

I thought back and clicked on that I had a sore throat for a while. My little boy was at nursery most of the time or playing in the other room, and my partner works nights so hardly spent time in the front room.

I rushed upstairs and turned all the gas off.

I woke my partner up to check it out, within hours British Gas were out and condemned our boiler. Taking advice from my Health Visitor  I took my kids to the GP to get them checked out.

The GP told me it couldn’t possibly be Carbon Monoxide Poisoning because their skin color would of been purple!

Not having any of it I took them to A&E for a second opinion, my daughter was put straight on a nebular as her STATS were low. They had a blood test which my daughters come back with unsatisfactory results and my sons were fine.

My little girl was kept in for 11 days and sure enough her sickness and screaming stopped within 24 hours of being out the house.

I encourage you ALL to go and get yourselves a carbon monoxide detector(one that sets off an alarm, not paper ones) IT SAVES LIVES. CARBON MONOXIDE IS A SILENT LEAK, NO NOISE,COLOUR, SMELL!

I don’t mean to scare anyone with this post, just glad I didn’t listen to the GP.

Response to the briefing note to Don Foster MP by Roland Wessling

“I have lost my partner Hazel Woodhams in July 2011 to CO poisoning and almost died myself. I somehow survived but suffered severe injuries, resulting in two weeks in intensive care, a further two weeks in hospital after that, eight operations, six hours in three sessions in a hyperbolic chamber to get the CO out of my system, six months of physio- and hydrotherapy and, to date, over 13,500 painkillers to deal with the aftermath of the injuries. This is the result of taking a small, cold-to-the-touch charcoal BBQ grill into a large tent before going to bed. We were both highly educated people, both had MSc degrees in forensic sciences, Hazel worked as a Scene of Crime Officers for West Yorkshire Police and I teach forensic science at the UK Defence Academy/Cranfield University. We should have known that there was a risk of CO from the charcoal but we didn’t. We had a CO detector in our house but that was not enough to save Hazel’s life.

CO can threaten in many different scenarios and kills almost instantly. Without proper education, greater awareness and safer products, more and more people will die as the result of CO poisoning and some of these cases will not even be attributed to CO. I was arrested when the police arrived on site. What they saw was a couple, one dead, the other injured and some form of ‘drug’ involved. I was de-arrested six hours later when the hospital confirmed the CO level in my blood. And I do not blame the police officers on the scene in the slightest but the ‘Roland Wessling, I arrest you for the murder of Hazel Woodhams’ will always be with me. The thought that anyone could contemplate that I killed the person I loved most in the world, is completely overwhelming.

CO killed Hazel and almost killed me. In the 12 months following Hazel’s death at least 7 others died from CO poising in a camping context alone. Several family members were arrested, just like me. I therefore fully support CO-Gas Safety in their efforts to improve the situation outlined in the suggestions to amend the Energy Bill.”

Response by Ed Walker, Lead on carbon monoxide, clinical toxicology working group, College of Emergency Medicine, agrees with the proposed amendments.

Andrew Humber, Team Supervisor, Hazardous Area Response Team also agrees.

The Sellars family, also agree. The family consisting of parents Joanne, Stephen and two young girls, suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from the faulty flue installed in their new build house in Wigan Lancashire from 1988 to 1997. The living room was heated by a gas fire connected to a badly installed and designed flue. For up to 9 years they were subjected to high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning. Stephen was tested and assessed by toxicologist John Henry at the Poisons Unit of Guys Hospital, and was found to be suffering from severe executive dysfunction (as a result of the CO exposure). This was obviously the reason why the family business he had built up and managed successfully for up to 10 years prior to the poisoning had started to fail which resulted in him being made bankrupt for £½ million in 1990.

His wife Joanne suffered brain damage (in her basal ganglia) as a result of the 7 years of CO poisoning they endured in their new build home, which caused a section of her brain (about the size of a 50p) to die, therefore resulting in her developing incurable epilepsy and she has now to be on medication for the rest of her life.  See http://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/Chronic-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-resulting/22689549.html