28.04.22 Dr Sophie Duggan’s talk at CORT

Excellent talk by lawyer and doctor Dr Sophie Duggan

CO inside cars: what are we breathing? A UK-based observational study of in-cabin vehicle CO levels | CO Research

Sophie was exposed to CO along with her children inside her car. She approached CO-Gas Safety as a survivor.  We introduced her to Kane International because Kane is involved in car exhaust systems and she wanted to undertake some research. We also told her about the other bodies interested in research work.

CO-Gas Safety responds to a recent interview with Baroness Finlay. 

Stephanie Trotter
February 4th 2022

CO-Gas Safety responds to a recent interview with Baroness Finlay.

Stephanie Trotter, OBE, President & Director of CO-Gas Safety responds to a recent interview that Air Quality News published with Baroness Finlay (see https://airqualitynews.com/2021/12/22/big-interview-air-quality-news-talks-to-baroness-finlay/).

Finlay mentioned a recent report published by the Clean Air Fund that found that reducing pollution to World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended levels could benefit the UK economy by £1.6bn annually by reducing premature deaths, reducing sickness absence, and improving productivity at work.

We were delighted by Finlay’s concern about air pollution damaging health. We agree, ‘There are no ‘safe levels’ of air pollution, whether that is indoors or outdoors. Air pollutants are present in every home’.
We also applaud Baroness Finlay’s concern for the indoor environment where toxins are much more concentrated yet can be prevented. Brits spend over 90% of their time indoors.

Some quick wins on raising awareness and testing for carbon monoxide could be made by testing for carbon monoxide.

At the Air Quality News conference, when questioned, Finlay expressed concern about the cost of testing the air for CO.

CO-Gas Safety understands the need to show a cost-benefit. But the known deaths and injuries from CO cost the UK taxpayer £178m a year. Most agree that the known deaths & injuries from unintentional CO are only the tip of an iceberg.

Ofgem, which licenses the gas industry has made millions available for the benefit of vulnerable customers. This means those on or eligible for the Priority Service Register, (e.g. the disabled, poor, sick, elderly, etc.). But Jonathan Brierley, CEO of Ofgem admitted to CO-Gas Safety that everyone is vulnerable to CO.

Northern Gas Networks undertook research that established testing appliances for CO only adds 5-7 minutes on to every visit by the gas emergency service.

Therefore, the funds exist and the research has been done. Also, if HSE told Ofgem that testing for CO is a safety issue (and how can it not be?), Ofgem would find any further funding required. It is surely vital to find the source of the CO.

Why are free tests of the air in homes for deadly CO not being provided at every opportunity?

Finlay’s own recommendations in 2011 advocated testing. APPCOG has, in the past, supported our call for compulsory testing as part of the landlord’s gas safety check.

Sadly, the gas emergency service which attends free and tests for a leak of unburned gas (which you can smell) is not required to test for CO (and you can’t smell CO). We’ve been lobbying since 1995 for this to be changed. We’re also lobbying for a levy on the whole fuel industry to pay for raising awareness of the dangers of CO, testing, collecting data, research, and survivor support which we, as a tiny, unfunded charity cannot provide.

Phil Burrows of Cadent, one of the four providers of the gas emergency service, has recently told us ‘Cadent launched a pilot programme for vulnerable customers in April 2021. Some of Cadent’s engineers, qualified under CMDDA, test gas appliances for CO. If the source of CO is found, action is taken to make the emitting appliance safe. This keeps the customer safe and warm in their home.’

We congratulate Phil and Cadent. But do survivors have proof of CO in writing/digitally to give their medics?

To identify the source of the CO and have proof for the medics would transform the lives of survivors and their medics, as well as save NHS funds, help raise awareness, provide data and improve safety.

Let’s hope all the emergency service providers follow Cadent’s good example because however wealthy, wise and competent a person may be, everyone is vulnerable to CO, even those in the gas industry and MPs.

Stephanie Trotter, OBE, President & Director of CO-Gas Safety, Safety Lobbyist & Barrister (not practising at the moment).

Project Shout’s survey – Increase in dangerous gas appliances in use

Increase in dangerous gas appliances in use
‘A survey of 335 heating engineers, conducted by campaign group Project SHOUT, has identified an alarming rise in dangerous gas appliances, with over a third (39%) seeing poorly maintained or badly fitted appliances every week, with nearly two-thirds (61%) saying they saw them at least monthly.

A further 31% of engineers said they came across appliances, such as boilers, cookers, and fires, on a monthly basis that they would class as dangerous. Outside of the survey, one engineer reported condemning 49 boilers in just one day at a social housing provider.
Nearly a third (29%) reported seeing more dangerous appliances since COVID-19, which campaigners believe may be due to homeowners being reluctant to let engineers into their homes at the height of the pandemic, or that they simply couldn’t afford to have their appliances serviced, or tried to do it themselves.
Campaign group Project SHOUT, which commissioned the study, is concerned that with rising energy bills and plummeting temperatures this winter, cash strapped households may put servicing their appliances to the bottom of their list of priorities, which can make families at greater risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.’ https://www.hvpmag.co.uk/Installer-survey-reveals-increase-in-dangerous-gas-appliances-in-use/12808
In our opinion, Project Shout is to be congratulated for this study, but the findings are horrifying. ENDS
We think quoting from your report adds a great deal but if you would rather we just give the link please let us know as soon as possible. Thank you very much indeed.

House Magazine (i.e. House of Commons Magazine) 24.01.2022

Thank you to all the courageous and generous survivors, who gave us quotes for this article and for our website. Hopefully, the MPs will read this and take action at last.

There are two versions of this article:-

  1. The article as published in the House (of Commons) Magazine (PDF) and
  2. The word version with footnotes (Word).

 


This content was paid for by the registered charity CO-Gas Safety

Proof matters: the vital importance of testing for Carbon Monoxide

No one is immune from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO). Recent progress shows that positive action can be taken. We owe it to the victims and survivors of this ‘silent killer’ to do more.

We spend 92% of our time indoors¹. Pollutants are more concentrated indoors yet easy to eliminate.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) symptoms are similar to a virus, including COVID-19. Diagnosing CO in survivors is almost impossible because CO leaves breath and blood quickly; even if blood is tested, it is usually negative for CO. Continue reading

Link about USA standards for carbon monoxide alarms – not intended for low levels of CO

https://www.cpsc.gov/Regulations-Laws–Standards/Voluntary-Standards/Carbon-Monoxide-Alarms

We are very grateful to Charon McNabb (info@ncoaa.us) who said that according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, “CO alarms are life safety devices, not injury prevention devices”  Stephanie asked Charon for a reference to this and she kindly sent the above link and read the following

‘CPSC staff is currently participating in voluntary standards activities related to improving the reliability and performance of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. CO alarms are life safety devices to warn consumers of the accumulation of potentially hazardous levels of CO in their home before their ability to react has been compromised. CO alarms are not intended to protect consumers against low-level CO exposures.’

This is very similar to what CO-Gas Safety has been saying about CO alarms to EN 50291.

Alarm thresholds for domestic alarms https://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/about-co/alarms-2/

  • at 30ppm CO, the alarm must not activate (tested for at least 120 minutes)
  • at 50ppm CO, the alarm must not activate before 60 minutes but must activate before 90 minutes
  • at 100ppm CO, the alarm must not activate before 10 minutes but must activate before 40 minutes
  • at 300ppm CO, the alarm must activate within 3 minutes

SGN launch new materials aimed at 12-16 year olds about the dangers of CO!

SGN have launched new learning materials aimed to teach 12–16-year-olds about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO), and how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from the ‘silent killer’. 

SGN are on a mission to teach everyone about how to stay safe from the highly poisonous gas. Their true crime-inspired ‘whodunnit’ game has been designed to be delivered in educational settings such as schools, youth clubs and other extracurricular groups, by a teacher or group leader. The associated materials will give you the tools to teach young people everything they need to know about carbon monoxide, including the symptoms of CO poisoning, how to spot the signs of CO, how to make sure gas or carbon-fuelled appliances are working properly, and how to stay CO safe in a fun, interactive way.

The game, which can be played either using the interactive video or offline using the roleplay script, features the story of the Plum family, who return from holiday to a nasty shock involving Grandma Plum and Poppy the dog. Young people can use the family’s witness statements and clues, revealed throughout the video, to solve the mystery of who the Silent Killer is.

On the Silent Killer website, cards and a crime board can be downloaded to make playing along more engaging, and there’s also an information leaflet that provides some key CO safety information for the young people to keep and take home to share the learning with their household.

All resources, which are now available to view and download, can be found at www.thesilentkiller.co. So if you work with young people, or know someone who does please use and share these resources to help educate as many young people as possible and keep them and their households safe from the dangers of CO.

Gas Safe Charity – new amended post for CO Awareness week

 

 

CO Awareness Week 2021 — United Against CO

CO awareness week is taking place on 23rd-29th november 2020 – Download the kit today

www.unitedagainstco.com

 

In addition, this link to APPCOG has more resources that can be downloaded and used to promote CO Awareness Week:

 

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 | Policy Connect

 

Finally, one of the video links was broken too. The Hindi version is: https://youtu.be/RyHgCkIYw1E

 

Hindi – Carbon Monoxide risks in the home

Working with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, the Think CO Programme run by the Gas Safe Charity was alerted to the fact that many people of South Asi…

youtu.be

 

From the Gas Safe Charity for CO Awareness Week 22nd- 28th November

View this email in your browser

 

 

 

 

CO Awareness Week – 22nd-28th November 2021
New resources available

 

Welcome to the Think CO newsletter celebrating Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021.

22nd-28th November 2021

As part of the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 campaign, everyone at Think CO would encourage you to download the Asset Kit which is full of useful ideas to help promote CO awareness with the people, communities and organisations that you work with and support. 

The kit is a comprehensive zip file that contains everything you need in the build up to and throughout the week.

To download the kit, click here:www.unitedagainstco.com/coaw2021

It includes information about carbon monoxide barbecue safety, symptoms, most at risk, CO alarms, and the new ‘C.O.M.A.’ Information for 2021. Assets included are:

  • Social Media Posts – for general carbon monoxide awareness and C.O.M.A.
  • Fact Sheets – including most at risk, dangers out of the home, how to stay safe, and the symptoms of CO
  • Images – including barbecues, alarms, at risk, symptoms
  • COAW 2021 and United Against CO Logos
  • Flyer and web ad banner

 

As part of Think CO’s contribution to Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 next week, we have developed a series of videos for you to use with your teams and your clients. 

Each share the key safety messages of knowing the sources, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and risks, as well as how to prevent it.

Working with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, the Shree Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre in Leicester, FireAngel and Cadent, we have developed videos in English and Hindi which are both subtitled in English. They can be shown as part of a training or induction course and/or as part of a visit where they can be shown to a client.

We have also developed a BSL signed and subtitled video for people with hearing loss.  All three videos are available on the Gas Safe Charity’s YouTube channel and can be downloaded for free.

The Hindi video is available by clicking here:https://youtu.be/RyHgCkIYw1E

The English video is available from here:http:// https://youtu.be/CSQ6pzgZdus

The BSL signed and subtitled video available here:https://youtu.be/FgKxkC80ifM

We’d really like to know how you use the films and the impact that they have.  Email us at thinkco@gassafecharity.org.uk

 

 

 

Think CO Online Workshops and E-learning Course

We can’t miss an opportunity to remind you of some the other free resources available from Think CO. 

We’ll be running more online workshops with dates currently available from now through to the end of March 2022.  For more information and to book a place, click here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115618952399

The Think CO e-learning course is another option. To register for the course, email us at:

e-learning@gassafecharity.org.uk
 

 

Look out for the next Think CO Newsletter – in your inbox just before Christmas 

 

 

 

We need your help to increase people’s CO awareness

 

 
 
 
 
 

Just a reminder – you are receiving this newsletter because you have opted into receiving it or you have engaged with one of our services. If you would prefer to now ‘opt out’, please send us an email to ThinkCO@gassafecharity.org.uk or click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of this email.

 

Copyright © 2020 Gas Safe Charity All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
thinkco@gassafecharity.org.uk

To stop receiving these newsletters and be removed from our mailing list please click: Unsubscribe

GSC is a registered charity in England. Charity number 1131987

 

 

View this email in your browser

 

 

 

 

CO Awareness Week – 22nd-28th November 2021
New resources available

 

Welcome to the Think CO newsletter celebrating Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021.

22nd-28th November 2021

As part of the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 campaign, everyone at Think CO would encourage you to download the Asset Kit which is full of useful ideas to help promote CO awareness with the people, communities and organisations that you work with and support. 

The kit is a comprehensive zip file that contains everything you need in the build up to and throughout the week.

To download the kit, click here:http:// https://www.unitedagainstco.com/coaw2021

It includes information about carbon monoxide barbecue safety, symptoms, most at risk, CO alarms, and the new ‘C.O.M.A.’ Information for 2021. Assets included are:

  • Social Media Posts – for general carbon monoxide awareness and C.O.M.A.
  • Fact Sheets – including most at risk, dangers out of the home, how to stay safe, and the symptoms of CO
  • Images – including barbecues, alarms, at risk, symptoms
  • COAW 2021 and United Against CO Logos
  • Flyer and web ad banner

 

As part of Think CO’s contribution to Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2021 next week, we have developed a series of videos for you to use with your teams and your clients. 

Each share the key safety messages of knowing the sources, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and risks, as well as how to prevent it.

Working with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, the Shree Sanatan Mandir and Community Centre in Leicester, FireAngel and Cadent, we have developed videos in English and Hindi which are both subtitled in English. They can be shown as part of a training or induction course and/or as part of a visit where they can be shown to a client.

We have also developed a BSL signed and subtitled video for people with hearing loss.  All three videos are available on the Gas Safe Charity’s YouTube channel and can be downloaded for free.

The Hindi video is available by clicking here:https://youtu.be/RyHgCkIYw1E

The English video is available from here:http:// https://youtu.be/CSQ6pzgZdus

The BSL signed and subtitled video available here:https://youtu.be/FgKxkC80ifM

We’d really like to know how you use the films and the impact that they have.  Email us at thinkco@gassafecharity.org.uk

 

 

 

Think CO Online Workshops and E-learning Course

We can’t miss an opportunity to remind you of some the other free resources available from Think CO. 

We’ll be running more online workshops with dates currently available from now through to the end of March 2022.  For more information and to book a place, click here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/115618952399

The Think CO e-learning course is another option. To register for the course, email us at:

e-learning@gassafecharity.org.uk
 

 

Look out for the next Think CO Newsletter – in your inbox just before Christmas 

 

 

 

We need your help to increase people’s CO awareness

 

 
 
 
 
 

Just a reminder – you are receiving this newsletter because you have opted into receiving it or you have engaged with one of our services. If you would prefer to now ‘opt out’, please send us an email to ThinkCO@gassafecharity.org.uk or click ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of this email.

 

Copyright © 2020 Gas Safe Charity All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
thinkco@gassafecharity.org.uk

To stop receiving these newsletters and be removed from our mailing list please click: Unsubscribe

GSC is a registered charity in England. Charity number 1131987

 

 

Query from the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps on 28.10.21 answered 02.11.21

From: Paul Clements Sent: 28 October 2021 16:59
To: Stephanie Trotter
Subject: Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps – CO Liaison

Dear Stephanie and Team,

I am writing to introduce myself. Our Chair, Lawson, has asked me to take a position as CO liaison for the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.

The idea is to build on the sterling work already undertaken by others in our industry, by providing a focal point in and out of the Guild. This role will capitalise on relevant strategic and tactical information to the benefit of Guild members in their daily work, and to provide Guild partners with useful and relevant information that could be more cohesively represented by the Guild, for example in so called ‘Close Call CO Incidents’.

There will soon be a dedicated email address under the Guild umbrella but for now I am using my own business contact points. I am keen to develop this role, particularly at this time of year.

One question I do have is this. Do the collated statistics that I have seen on your website show us incidents by fuel type, in particular, could the stats show deaths (as collated by yourselves) caused by either solid fuel, or in more detail, defined by wood, coal or oil? This would be of particular interest if it is so reportable.

Thank you for your attention,

Paul

Paul Clements
Cleaner Chimneys Chimney Sweeps
www.cleanerchimneys.co.uk
01489 578541 or 07540 841022

• ‘Master’ Member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps
• Approved Trader with Hampshire County Council Buy with Confidence Scheme
• HETAS approved
Privacy Statement
We hold data with your consent only to enable a chimney sweep or other chimney service booking to take place, for annual customer reminders, or more frequently if required, so as to comply with the laid down Fire Service and Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and HETAS safety recommendations for at least annual chimney sweeping, to reduce domestic and commercial chimney fire risk and carbon monoxide poisoning and compliance with buildings insurance requirements.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect.
Full Privacy Policy and GDPR Compliance Policy is viewable on our website
————————————————————————————————————-

Stephanie received this request and sent some of our graphic charts but also sent on this request to our data officer Jennifer Wood and asked her to give a more detailed response.

On Tue, 2 Nov 2021 at 16:51, jenny@co-gassafety.co.uk wrote:
Hello Paul,

My name is Jennifer Wood and I handle the data side of CO-Gas Safety’s work for Stephanie Trotter – she has forwarded me your questions regarding our data and definitions used for our press pack statistical charts.

As she has already stated, we are unable to be as statistically stringent as we would like with our charts and categories, as we are reliant on information provided by the officials and institutions that document these incidents (primarily Coroner’s Offices, but they are given the details by others such as Police, Fire Services, witnesses etc). In more recent years we have been able to ask more questions of the Coroner’s Offices, by contacting them as soon as we are aware of an incident and asking them to consider specific concerns of ours, but for many of the historical cases there can be as little as a few sentences available to us.

I have tried to clarify definitions as much as possible in the notes given below some of the charts, but here are answers to your specific questions:

Room heater – this can include a variety of appliances, and may even include some gas fires that should strictly appear in the ‘gas fire’ category, but without further description from the authorities we cannot be sure of the type of room heater in all cases. It undoubtably includes a large number of Parkray and Rayburn-style solid fuel, oil and gas heaters. It would not intentionally include woodburner stoves or the type of gas heater that is portable and uses a canister in the back for fuel – they have their own categories but, again, some may have been described as just ‘room heater’ in documentation (particularly in older cases).

Solid fuel – as it suggests, this includes any fuel that is not liquid or gas (so no oil, LPG or mains gas, petrol or diesel). It can cover all sorts of combustibles such as coal, anthracite, coke, charcoal, BBQ briquettes, wood, biomass, fuel logs etc

Open fire – to answer your question as to whether a gas fire would ever be recorded as an ‘open fire’ is tricky – I can’t categorically state that it wouldn’t. I can say, however, that all the appliances we currently have in our database that are listed as ‘open fires’ are actually also categorised as ‘solid fuel’. There are 10 such cases, with 11 deaths. I know that one of them was BBQ fuel lit in a wheelbarrow within an enclosed space, which for the purposes of our database was best described as an ‘open fire’.

You are correct to note that many exposures occur where there is no ventilation in the room of the appliance, other than the appliance vent or the chimney. This applies as a risk whatever the appliance and should certainly be included in the training of appliance installers and chimney sweeps. Our most recent case of an open fire death, for example, was in 2017 – there was no combustion air vent in the room containing the open fire, the chimney had not been swept regularly enough and the carbon monoxide alarm that was present was located incorrectly and with batteries removed. Incidentally, this is the only one of our 10 open fire fatal incidents where we have confirmed details of ventilation in the room (or lack of it) other than the chimney. That level of description is unfortunately not given for any of the other older incidents but we do often hear of cases where air bricks or vents are installed and have been covered over to remove drafts, not just with open fires. When victims are trying to stay warm, they often close windows tightly and shut internal doors too (again, not often recorded at a fatal scene as these details are either lost in the panic of a victim being found and treated, or their significance not realised at the time), so air bricks are an essential precaution for ventilation.

Remember that the data we publish relates only to fatal incidents, not exposures where victims have survived. We do keep records of non-fatal cases where we can but we know we only capture a fraction of the actual incidents that occur so we do not publish statistics on these; we use them as valuable examples to learn from.

Oil-fired kitchen ranges – you are correct that these would be listed as an ‘oil’ appliance. You mention paraffin too – we have only two fatalities that we can be sure were caused by paraffin appliances and in both cases they were portable paraffin heaters (one in a shed, one in a polytunnel). These paraffin cases are separated from oil ones in our Fuel Type chart.

You are correct in stating that 30% of the unintentional carbon monoxide fatalities that we had recorded 01.09.1995 – 31.08.2020 were caused by a solid fuel source. Of these, 1% were attributed to Woodburners, 1.5% to open fires, 2.5% to BBQs, and the remaining 25% or so (our published stats are rounded to the nearest %) were distributed between the following: cookers (such as solid fuel Agas), solid fuel central heating boilers (incl back boilers), many solid fuel room heaters and one solid fuel water heater. One case was a bucket of charcoal taken into a vehicle, one was a bowl of charcoal burning in a bowl on top of a kitchen hob, one was described as a ‘coal burning stove’ but sounded very like a camping BBQ – incidents are not always easy to categorise. I would need to spend time on this to get you a breakdown if you really need the individual stats but I suspect that this information is enough for your requirements.

It is worth noting, Paul, that over 75% of our solid fuel cases were more than ten years ago. In other words, solid fuel cases have disproportionately reduced compared to other fuels – our data covers 25 years, but only around 20-22% of the solid fuel cases have been since Jan 2010. Indeed, we have only documented 7 solid fuel fatalities since Jan 2015 (one each from open fire, BBQ, central heating boiler, woodburner, and 3 deaths from 2 room heater incidents). Training must continue to be stringent, however, as we find that once a rate has reduced successfully in one particular fuel or scenario then complacency tends to evolve into a lack of awareness again and the risk returns.

In case it is of interest, since Jan 2015, over half the fatalities we have recorded have been from petrol/diesel appliances.

I hope all of the above helps but please do contact me with any further questions and I will do my best to answer them.
Best wishes,
Jennifer Wood
Data Processing Officer
jenny@co-gassafety.co.uk
Please send any posted documents directly to me at: 2 Tidwell Close, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 6SH

On behalf of Stephanie Trotter, OBE (Mrs)
President & Director of CO-Gas Safety
CO-Gas Safety is an independent registered charity run almost entirely by volunteers. www.co-gassafety.co.uk
Priory Cottage South
Priory Road Mob. 07803 088688
Seaview, Isle of Wight Charity Number: 1048370
PO34 5BU Company Number: 3084435

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