Sad News

Co-founder of CO-Gas Safety and President and Director of Consumer Safety International, Molly Maher, very sadly died on Thursday 23rd April 2020.

Molly courageously campaigned after the death of her son, Gary from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) from a gas water heater in Tenerife in 1985. Her daughter, Sheree was poisoned in the same incident and was paralysed for a year, becoming a wheelchair user. Sheree admirably retained her sharp brain and zest for life.

Molly spent many years raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Her great cry was ‘keep a window open’. She tried to persuade those in the tourist industry, hoteliers, the fuel industry and governments in the UK and Spain to raise awareness, service properly, ensure ventilation and install CO alarms. Many people both abroad and in the UK, owe their health and their lives to Molly’s work, yet have no idea that they do.

Molly was told by the authorities in Tenerife that there were CO problems in the UK.  At first she didn’t believe them and maintained that in the UK there was the Health & Safety Executive. However, she was shocked to find that indeed there were huge problems in the UK and all over the world. Indeed, even in the UK, there is still a lack of awareness of the dangers of CO from all fuels, a lack of a test of the air or appliances for CO by the gas emergency service and a lack of specific support for victims/survivors of CO, who can rarely prove poisoning.

Along with the now late David Jenkins of RoSPA and Nigel Griffiths, then an MP, Molly founded CO-Gas Safety, which was launched at the House of Commons on the 25th January 1995. This was an independent, registered charity as was CSI. CO-Gas Safety, headed by Stephanie Trotter, looked exclusively at CO and other gas dangers. CO-Gas Safety worked to reduce deaths and injuries from unintentional carbon monoxide and other gas dangers and to help victims and their families.

CSI covers all holiday dangers. Molly and Stephanie had met while Stephanie was campaigning for children’s activity holiday centres to be licensed after an injury, a clot on the brain, was suffered by Stephanie’s son Alex, aged 12 in 1992 while at a sailing centre. Molly helped Stephanie with this campaign because CSI was all about safer holidays. This campaign to license children’s activity holidays in the UK was thankfully successful and there is now the Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995. Sadly scouts etc. and university students are still not covered, despite Stephanie’s pleas that they should be.

Stephanie learned a great deal about campaigning from Molly, how difficult it is and how much of a roller coast experience it is. Molly never stopped campaigning and her courage and determination will be greatly missed.

The struggle to do what most people assume is done but isn’t, to put in place what most people say is just common sense, continues. But true campaigners have lost an inspiration; CO-Gas Safety has lost a founder with guts.

Frank Brehany, who ran Holiday Travel Watch and has known Molly as long as Stephanie has put out a press release which he has kindly shared with CO-Gas Safety

Sian Overton makes a film about her older sister Katie dying of CO

Sian Overton, is the younger sister of Katie Overton. Katie died of CO in 2003 aged eleven and a half. Sian was then only seven years old. Sian describes her memory of what happened and how it affected her life and the whole family.

The film ends with a plea that this must not happen to anyone else and provides advice on how to prevent such a tragedy.

Press Pack 2020 was put on our website on 25.01.20

We haven’t printed it yet. We are making a few changes so will hope to have the amended version on the website very soon with printing starting on 18th February. Do please let us know if you spot any howlers or would prefer us to change anything before we print. Please email me or if urgent please phone 07803 088688. Thank you very much indeed.

25th January 2020 – CO-Gas Safety’s 25th Anniversary!

Saturday 25th January 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the independent, registered charity CO-Gas Safety.

The charity would like to thank all those who have helped with the charity’s work over the past 25 years. Our thanks go especially to those victims and families poisoned by unintentional carbon monoxide but who have, despite grief and/or illness, helped raise awareness and prevent the poisoning of others. 

Thanks also to all those who have funded or helped the charity over the years.

The press pack 2020 is finished and will be put on the website, hopefully on the 25th. Thank you to all who have helped produce this.

Car Storage Bags can Kill

Please see

William Reid and Katherine Workman died of carbon monoxide poisoning in October 2017 when William reversed his classic car into a plastic bag to keep it perfect. Very sad case. Shockingly unexpected consequence.

Report on Deaths abroad published November 2019

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Death Abroad and Consular Services published its report please see

Frank Brehany formerly heading Holiday Travel Watch and Stephanie Trotter gave evidence to Hannah Bardell MP’s assistants for about two hours and were both quoted in the report.

Emma Jackson-Phillips runs the Snowdonia Marathon in memory of her father Fred Jackson who died of CO

Emma Jackson-Phillips runs the Snowdonia Marathon in memory of her father, Fred Jackson

Emma Jackson-Phillips is running the Snowdonia Marathon on October 26th 2019 in memory of her father, Fred Jackson, who died from carbon monoxide on the 19th April 2008.

Emma runs to raise awareness of the danger of CO

Fred Jackson lived in Llanelli. He was 52 when he died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in a hotel in Newquay, Cornwall.

Two men were fined for breaching gas safety regulations, following a trial after her father’s death.

Emma urges people to prevent CO poisoning and buy CO alarms to EN 50291

Emma says, ‘My father was a larger-than-life man who seemed immune to health complaints.  He hadn’t visited a doctor in 8 years. He had gone on a business trip and mistook the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning for the symptoms of flu. He told his colleagues he was feeling unwell when they phoned his hotel room and apologised for being late to meet them. I have learned that symptoms of CO are often mistaken for those of a virus.’ Emma continues, ‘The six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. I want people to know that a CO alarm to EN 50291* will save your life at home or when you are away, even for a night. Please buy a CO alarm direct from a reputable supplier, such as B & Q.’

* EN 50291 is a European Standard which sets the parts per million of CO over time at which the alarm sounds see

Emma’s father’s death was so preventable

Emma thinks CO alarms in homes, offices, hotels and any other buildings should be as standard as smoke alarms.  After Fred’s death, his family decided they wanted to create awareness, protect people and do something positive to prevent more needless deaths.  Emma says, ‘Our main message is to buy a carbon monoxide alarm to EN 50291 today, unwrap it and set it up. This will cost about £15. What a small price for peace of mind. Please tell your friends and family. A CO alarm is an ideal way to show you care at Christmas.   Emma also urges everyone who plans to go on holiday this year to take a CO alarm so that they do not have to share a similar loss of a loved one. Check the CO alarm is in date and put it in your suitcase.  Most alarms last about 10 years.

Emma runs to help the registered charity, CO-Gas Safety, which works to stop these tragic deaths

Stephanie Trotter, OBE, President and Director of CO-Gas Safety says, ‘We are so sorry for Emma’s loss. We admire her efforts to do something positive to save others from the grief she has suffered and still suffers. CO can easily be prevented. People just need to be aware of the dangers, how to prevent them and buy a CO alarm to EN 50291. Thank you, Emma for your fantastic help. All the best for the marathon!’

Emma ends by saying ‘It is going to fill me with such pride to be running for such an important cause and in my team’s colours.  I would like to thank my husband, Evan Phillips, all of the Cornelly Striders and my sports masseur, Charles Jones, without whom this run wouldn’t be possible.’

Note to editors

Emma Jackson-Phillips can be contacted for interview through Stephanie Trotter.

Please post a selfie of yourself with your carbon monoxide alarm, using the handle #COSelfie

Stephanie Trotter, OBE, President & Director of independent registered charity CO-Gas Safety can be contacted on:-

Mob. 07803088688 Twitter Stephanie Trotter@cogassafety Email Website                                                                                



Report on Deaths Abroad, Consular Services and Assistance Hannah Bardall MP published 02.11.19

So far I’ve only read the forward and the summary so far but this seems an excellent report.

The All Party Group has met with or spoken to around 60 families and has spoken to around 50 third party organisation, government departments and NGOs.

I quote from the report, ‘Many changes are needed. Some require legislation, for example a legal right to consular services which surprisingly, British citizens do not currently have. Mostly, it is about changing behaviours and processes, creating a protocol that government departments, the police, victims support, airlines, airports, holiday companies, the insurance and legal sectors can work to.

We owe it to these families and the loved ones they lost to learn lessons and make common sense and necessary changes.’

Congratulations to Hannah Bardell MP, Chair of the APPG on Deaths Abroad, Consular Services and Assistance for this report.

We only wish that the All Party Group on Carbon Monoxide would bring out such a good report and recommend changes as far reaching as these recommendations. However, we do hope these changes are actually made. We in gas safety know all too well that recommendations, however excellent (such as the ones made by HSC/E on gas safety in 2000) often languish and are not implemented.