Changes Needed


CO-Gas Safety’s suggestions to improve safety and reduce unintentional deaths and injuries from CO and other fuel dangers

I delivered our suggestions to Don Foster MP, Minister for CLG in a briefing note on 18th December 2012.

Amendments to Energy Bill – Summary

Decided by CO-Gas Safety after 18 years of work, professionally drafted and supported unanimously by CO+SAVi – group of victims, charities and other bodies as well as others from emergency medicine, ambulance and the fire service.

1.Levy on fuel suppliers to pay for raising awareness, research and action. £2 per household per year would be ample. Compare over £100 proposed for green energy. CO-Gas Safety has lobbied for prime time TV warnings since 1995.

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

CO-Gas Safety has lobbied for this since 1995.

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

We hope that Baroness Finlay’s amendments combined with other measures, such as the new ACOP and the need to tests condensing boilers with flue gas analysers, will assist with this aim but this is unclear.

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.

A group of victims and victim groups met in May 2012 under the banner of the then All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group. Baroness Finlay urged this victim group to agree on what they wanted to be changed. The CO+Savi group was formed and agreed unanimously on the legislative changes which the group wanted. CO+Savi was well aware that such changes would need to be put in Regulations, in the way that the amendments that have been achieved have been drafted, i.e. the power to make such regulations are put in primary legislation with detailed regulations made later). However, in order to show that these provisions could be drafted relatively easily, the group decided to instruct a lawyer experienced in drafting to draft what had been agreed by CO+Savi.

Once these changes had been professionally drafted, CO-Gas Safety lobbied MPs, particularly those on the Committee Stage of the Energy Bill by sending them copies of our drafted amendments with a summary. Holiday Travel Watch also lobbied these MPs. CO+Savi also asked the All Fuels Action Forum to discuss our suggested amendments, but we were left with the impression that little actual discussion took place. The AFAF decided it did not wish to put the CO+Savi suggested amendments forward for consideration by APPCOG or the MPs on the committee stage of the Energy Bill.

Please also see the following articles:

CO: the hidden dangers – Link to Article
“Carbon monoxide leakage poses serious, even lethal, risks yet there are many obstacles to bringing a legal claim, Stephanie Trotter warns”
Published by the New Law Journal, January 2020

A hidden killer – Link to Article
“Landlords’ gas safety duties* —Stephanie Trotter puts the case for reform”
Published by the New Law Journal, March 2018